Tragopan blythii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Tragopan blythii
Species Authority: (Jerdon, 1870)
Common Name(s):
English Blyth's Tragopan, Grey-bellied Tragopan
Spanish Tragopán de Blyth, Tragopán Oriental

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Choudhury, A., Eames, J.C., Ghose, D., Kumar, S., Lianxian, H., Pack-Blumenau, A., St Jalme, M., Zaw, U., Rahmani, A. & Sherub, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Davidson, P., Keane, A., Taylor, J., Khwaja, N.
This species qualifies as Vulnerable because its total population is believed to be small, declining and scattered in small subpopulations within a severely fragmented range. Widespread high levels of hunting and continuing habitat destruction will inevitably exacerbate this situation.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Tragopan blythii occurs from Bhutan, through Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur in north-east India, and north Myanmar, to south-east Tibet and north-west Yunnan, China (BirdLife International 2001). It has not been recorded since the early 1970s in Bhutan (S. Sherub in litt. 2012). Recent information suggests it is rare in most of India, though locally common at a few sites in Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh (A. Rahmani in litt. 2012). It is uncommon or rare in the Chin Hills-Mt Victoria region of west Myanmar (T. Htin Hla in litt. 2007), where although it may have declined good evidence is lacking (J. C. Eames in litt. 2004). It is also locally uncommon on Mt Majed and Mt Emawbon in eastern Kachin State, Myanmar (T. Htin Hla in litt. 2007). Call counts detected 14 pairs in the 50 km2 Blue Mountain National Park, Mizoram.

Bhutan; China; India; Myanmar
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits subtropical and temperate, evergreen oak and rhododendron forests, generally preferring a dense understorey, often dominated by bamboos or ferns, in steep or rocky terrain. Its documented altitudinal range is from 1,400 m (winter) up to 3,300 m (summer), but the majority of records come from a rather narrower band (1,800-2,400 m).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In north-east India, deforestation is a significant threat, primarily as a result of shifting cultivation. Together with fuelwood-collection and commercial timber extraction, this is rapidly fragmenting suitable habitat, even within protected areas, where enforcement of regulations is often absent or impossible. Hunting for food is the other major threat, particularly in Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, where large-scale snaring of pheasants and partridges by local people is an increasing problem. The population in Arunachal Pradesh is under threat from hydroelectric project developments, and associated road-building and residential expansion (A. Rahmani in litt. 2012). Little data on the exploitation of this species is available from Myanmar, making it difficult to assess the severity of the threat there (J. C. Eames in litt. 2004). Even in Bhutan, high levels of grazing and slash-and-burn agriculture are potentially significant problems.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I. The species is legally protected in all countries. It occurs in several protected areas, including: two small wildlife sanctuaries and a community reserve in Nagaland; the Blue Mountain National Park in Mizoram; Mouling National Park (A. Choudhury in litt. 2004), Sessa Orchid Sanctuary (Choudhury 2003), and Eaglenest Mehao and Dibang wildlife sanctuaries in Arunachal Pradesh; Thrumsing La National Park in Bhutan; Gaoligongshan National Park in China (Han Lianxian in litt. 2004), and Natma Taung National Park in Myanmar. Surveys for the species have been conducted in many areas in north-east India. An international studbook exists documenting the captive population held at locations in North America and Europe; however, recent analysis found the captive population is declining, ageing and highly inbred and requires new founders if it is not to be lost as a conservation resource for the species (St Jalme and Chavanne 2005). Work has since begun to move all of the captive birds in Europe to one location, and plans were in place to exchange birds between Europe and North America in an effort to introduce new blood lines to both populations (Jacken 2009). 

Conservation Actions Proposed
Design and implement monitoring projects in Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. Initiate a conservation awareness programme with communities in range areas, focusing on the effects of over-exploitation, and encourage local tourism initiatives. Continue (or initiate) surveys to establish its distribution, status and habitat requirements in Myanmar, Arunachal Pradesh, Bhutan, Yunnan and south-east Tibet. Use modern methods to study its ecology. Research the taxonomic status of the separate populations. Review the adequacy of the current protected areas system, to evaluate whether new areas in Myanmar, north-east India and south-east Tibet could be feasibly and usefully protected. Promote the careful management of existing captive populations and introduce new founders. Enforce laws preventing poaching and trade of the species (A. Rahmani in litt. 2012).

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Tragopan blythii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 05 September 2015.
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