Bornean Beauty: Delving into the Mesmerizing Elegance of the Peacock-Pheasant in Lowland Woodlands.

The Bornean peacock-pheasant, also known as Polyplectron schleiermacheri, is a kind of pheasant that is medium-sized. It is considered to be the least popular and most uncommon of all the peacock-pheasants. This particular bird can only be found living in lowland forests situated in Borneo, making it quite elusive.

The pheasant is a stunning bird that can reach a length of up to 50 cm. Its body is covered in rufous brown and black spots, with a long crest and nape feathers. The area below its body is black, while the skin around its bluish iris eye is bare and red. Its metallic blue-green breast sides are bordered by a white throat and central upper breast, adding to the bird’s allure. The pheasant has twenty-two tail feathers adorned with large blue-green ocelli, which can be fanned out during displays. Female pheasants are smaller and have a duller brown appearance compared to their male counterparts. They also have brown irises and no spurs on their feet.

The Bornean peacock-pheasant belongs to a basal group in its genus, along with the Malayan peacock-pheasant and Palawan peacock-pheasant. It is believed that their divergence occurred during the Pliocene era. Although it was previously thought to be a subspecies of the Malayan peacock-pheasant, the Bornean peacock-pheasant is geographically isolated and has distinct male plumage on its anterior breast and upper neck. Although females of the two species are more difficult to distinguish, the Bornean species has rectrices that are morphologically and patterned somewhere between those of the Palawan and Malayan peacock-pheasants.

The Bornean peacock-pheasant is considered endangered due to habitat loss, small population numbers, and limited range. As a result, it has been included in the IUCN Red List of threatened species. Additionally, it is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

Polyplectron schleiermacheri is a species that can only be found in Borneo and has been reported in Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia, as well as Kalimantan, Indonesia. A survey conducted in 1996 in central Kalimantan showed that two-thirds of the 97 villages surveyed considered it rare or very rare, while one-third thought it was fairly common. This species’ feathers were produced in four locations. According to 85% of interviewees, the population of this species has decreased. However, recent reports show that this species can still be found in Danum Valley, Deramakot Forest Reserve, Ulu Tongod, Gunung Mulu National Park, Nangatayap, Muarakarum/Palangkaraya, Sungai Wain, and Sukau. Unfortunately, records of sightings are sporadic, making it difficult to assess the species’ status accurately.


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