Pavo muticus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Pavo muticus
Species Authority: Linnaeus, 1766
Common Name(s):
English Green Peafowl, Green-necked Peafowl
Spanish Pavo-real Cuelliverde, Pavo-real Verde

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2cd+3cd+4cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Brickle, N., Choudhury, A., Duckworth, W., Eames, J.C., Evans, T., Meckvichai, W., Pollard, E. & Tran Vy, N.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Davidson, P., Keane, A., Taylor, J., Khwaja, N.
This majestic species has a very rapidly declining and severely fragmented population, primarily owing to intense habitat conversion and high hunting levels. Negative population trends and habitat fragmentation are projected to continue. The species therefore qualifies as Endangered.

2012 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Pavo muticus has a large ancestral range, across which it was once common and widespread (BirdLife International 2001). It has undergone a serious decline and the only sizeable remaining populations are found in dry forests in Cambodia (Evans and Clements 2004, S. Browne in litt. 2007), Myanmar (W. Duckworth in litt. 2008) and west-central Vietnam (Brickle 2002). Outside of this region populations persist in western and northern Thailand (W. Meckvichai in litt. 2004), the southern portion of Laos, Annam in Vietnam, Yunnan in China (Han et al. 2009) and on Java in Indonesia. In India, individuals are occasionally encountered in Manipur (A. Choudhury in litt. 2004), and one was recorded in southern Mizoram in 2007 (Choudhury 2009), but it may be extinct elsewhere in north-east India and Bangladesh, and is extinct in Malaysia and peninsular Thailand. The population evidently declined dramatically during the 20th century, leading to range contraction and local extinctions; current pressures remain intense, with very rapid and on-going declines suspected based on rates of disturbance and habitat conversion across South-East Asia. However, where protected areas are effectively managed, such as Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area, populations are increasing (T. Clements in litt. 2007). The development of an effective survey methodology and increased survey effort within its range has led to an increase in records, especially from Cambodia, Thailand (Mekvichai et al. in prep). and China, and hence the conservative population estimate of 5,000-10,000 individuals generated in 1995 has been revised to 10,000-19,999 mature individuals.

Cambodia; China; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Thailand; Viet Nam
Regionally extinct:
Bangladesh; India; Malaysia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Although rare compared with historic numbers, improved survey methodology and increased effort has led to an increase in the reporting rate and thus the population estimate has been revised upwards to 10,000-19,999 mature individuals, to reflect this improved knowledge. This equates to 15,000-29,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 15,000-30,000 individuals. Nevertheless this remains a coarse estimate and warrants refinement.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Historically it has been reported to occur in a wide variety of habitats, including a range of primary and secondary, tropical and subtropical, evergreen and deciduous forest-types, mixed coniferous forest, swamp forest, open woodland, forest edge, bamboo, grasslands, savannas, scrub and farmland edge, from sea-level to at least 2,100 m. Contemporary records are mostly limited to dry deciduous forests, with the highest densities occurring near undisturbed rivers and wetlands (Brickle 2002); access to water and human disturbance have a strong influence on the species's abundance and distribution (Brickle 2002, J. C. Eames in litt. 2004). It has been hypothesized that the species favours open deciduous forest as it may allow large clutches to be laid to coincide with a seasonal flush of fallen fruit (Brickle 2002).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Widespread hunting for meat and feathers, and collection of eggs and chicks, combined with habitat modification and human disturbance, has caused a catastrophic decline throughout much of the species's range. Fragmentation has isolated many small populations, increasing their susceptibility to local extinction, but selective logging appears to have no adverse effects on peafowl distribution (Brickle 2002). Other threats may include trade in the male's spectacular train feathers. In 2008, individuals of this species were reportedly being sold illegally for IDR200,000 (at the time around US$22) in the animal markets of Java (ProFauna Indonesia in litt. 2008). It is regarded as a crop-pest by farmers in China and Thailand (W. Meckvichai in litt. 2004), and is consequently poisoned (Han et al. 2009). The spread of human settlement presents the greatest threat, directly through hunting pressure and habitat loss, but also indirectly by preventing access to otherwise suitable habitat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. The species is protected in China, although this is difficult to enforce in remote mountainous areas (Han et al. 2009). It is known from many protected areas, including important populations in Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Indonesia (J. C. Eames in litt. 2004, W. Meckvichai in litt. 2004). These include: Huai Kha Kheng Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand; Ujung Kulon and Baluran National Parks, Indonesia; Yok Don National Park, Vietnam; Lomphat, Phnom Prich and Kulen Promtep wildlife sanctuaries, Chhep and Eastern Mondulkiri protected forests and Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area, Cambodia; Xe Pian National Protected Area, Laos (Brickle 2002), and Shuangbai Konglonghe Nature Reserve, China (Liu et al. 2009). The core zone of Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area has recently been extended (T. Evans in litt. 2007) and increased education and patrolling is likely to improve the prospects for this important population, now known to number several hundred individuals. Extensive public awareness campaigns have been carried out in China and Laos. A captive breeding programme has been initiated in collaboration with the World Pheasant Association as a first step towards reintroducing birds into Peninsular Malaysia. The Cambodian Galliformes Conservation Programme through the Forestry Administration and the World Pheasant Association have conducted status surveys at a number of sites within north-west Cambodia. A model was developed to predict peafowl distribution and abundance at the landscape scale based upon distance to and from water and villages (Brickle 2002). In 2008, authorities in Java confiscated at least 17 individuals of this species from animal markets and residences (ProFauna Indonesia in litt. 2008).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue research into its range, status, habitat requirements and interactions with people to inform management within protected areas. Clarify its status in India. Further develop the captive-breeding programme and initiate additional conservation awareness campaigns in Myanmar and Cambodia, while continuing existing ones. Develop landscape-level management recommendations for key areas, including the establishment of new protected areas where appropriate. Promote strict enforcement of regulations relating to hunting and pesticide use within protected areas supporting populations in Indochina. Encourage a total ban on trade in live birds and train feathers in all range countries.

Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Pavo muticus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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