Crossoptilon crossoptilon 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Galliformes Phasianidae

Scientific Name: Crossoptilon crossoptilon (Hodgson, 1838)
Common Name(s):
English White Eared-pheasant, White Eared Pheasant, White Eared-Pheasant
Spanish Faisán Orejudo Blanco, Faisán Orejudo Tibetano
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Identification information: 86-96 cm. White plumage distinctive. Sometimes washed grey on the upperparts. Has a black tail, red legs, a red face, and black cap. Juveniles are brownish-grey but quickly obtain adult plumage. Similar spp. None. Voice advertising call is a far-carrying raucous grating.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Garson, P., Wang, N., Pack-Blumenau, A., Lu, X., Kaul, R. & Grabowski, K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Mahood, S., Butchart, S., Bird, J., Benstead, P., Taylor, J.
While this species has a large range, only limited habitat is available and therefore it is thought to have a moderately small population. Current population trends are uncertain but it is suspected to be in decline and fears remain over the impacts that continuing development in Tibet may have. For these reasons it is considered Near Threatened.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Crossoptilon crossoptilon is found in China, where it is known from Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet. It has been estimated to number only 10,000-50,000 individuals and to be declining, but given the extent of its range it is unlikely that numbers fall at the lower end of this band.

Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:351000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:11-100Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):3000
Upper elevation limit (metres):4300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species's population is estimated at 10,000-50,000 individuals in total, roughly equivalent to 6,700-33,000 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  The species's population is suspected to be declining slowly (Madge and McGowan 2002), owing to habitat loss and hunting pressure.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:6700-33000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:2-100Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It inhabits coniferous and mixed forests near the treeline, plus subalpine birch and rhododendron scrub, at 3,000-4,300 m. Its distribution appears to be determined primarily by water, foraging sites and predation (Fei Jia et al. 2005). It can be common around Buddhist monasteries where it receives cultural protection, but it generally occurs at very low densities in small groups (A. Pack-Blumenau in litt. 2006). The species is monogamous during the breeding season (Wu Yi and Peng Jitai 1996), but it can occasionally be found in groups of up to 30 individuals in winter. It feeds by pecking at the ground and digging for bulbs. Natural predators include crows and buzzards (Wu Yi and Peng Jitai 1996).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):5
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is threatened by deforestation and hunting for food, but the high-altitude forests that it inhabits are not currently suffering rapid rates of deforestation. Completion of a rail link to Tibet is imminent and will lead to increased tourism in the area. It is feared that knock-on effects of this will increase the rate of habitat loss (Wang Nan in litt. 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I. Recent records from several protected areas. This bird is traditionally protected under the umbrella of Buddhist culture.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys to obtain a more accurate global population estimate. Consider using the species as a potential flagship for promoting pheasant conservation within Sichuan.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Crossoptilon crossoptilon. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22679292A92809416. . Downloaded on 19 August 2018.
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