Recording rare and precious bird species in the wild in Hoang Lien National Park

In recent days, bird photographers have been buzzing about a new species of rare bird recorded in the wild in Hoang Lien National Park (Sa Pa, Lao Cai). This is a discovery of great significance to the bird fauna in Vietnam in general and in Hoang Lien National Park in particular.


Purple Pheasant (Poached Chicken) recorded by NAG Toby Trung in Hoang Lien National Park, 2700m altitude

The precious bird recorded by photographers is the Purple Pheasant (Pocket Chicken) – scientific name: Tragopan temminckii (Gray, 1831), family: Pheasant (Phasianidae), order: Chicken (Galliformes). This is a colorful, extremely rare bird. In the Vietnam Red Book, Purple Pheasant is classified as CR (Critically Endangered) – Extremely Endangered, in danger of extinction.


Purple Pheasant (Pocket Chicken) shared by NAG Do Dinh Dong ( Do Dinh Dong facebook ) on Birds and Nature in Viet Nam page

According to description and observation, adult male Purple Pheasants generally have fire red, brownish red and black plumage. The skin around the eyes is slightly dark blue, the bib is dark green, the bare skin is slightly yellowish with red dots. The forehead, front of the eyes, behind the eyes, the front part of the crest on the nape of the neck, both sides of the head, and around the collar are black. The back has a light brown round star with a black border. Wing feathers are light black, striped and have reddish streaks. The underside of the body is light brown. The tail is pale yellowish brown with black dots and bars. Young males have the same color as female birds, but are slightly larger, and sometimes have red and black on their heads. The upper chest is dark black. Adult females are similar to males, but their fur has black and white streaks, not as beautiful and attractive as males. Both males and females have black beaks, brown eyes, and pink feet.


Purple Pheasant (Pocket Chicken) – Tragopan temminckii shared by NAG Bui Duc Tien (Tien Ptta) on his personal facebook page

About biology and ecology: Purple pheasant lays eggs in April, meets young birds leaving the nest in July. Each clutch lays 3-5 eggs. The eggs are small, oval in shape, with one large end and one small end, pale brown and speckled with brown spots. What is different from other birds in the pheasant family is that this Purple Pheasant nests on tree branches. According to Delacour (1977), the bird lays 7-8 eggs in April and has an incubation period of 28 days. Their food is fruits, tree seeds in the forest, insects, and earthworms.


Purple Pheasant (Pocket Chicken) – Tragopan temminckii (Photo NAG Do Dinh Dong)

Purple pheasants forage on the ground during the day, and at night fly up to low bushes to roost. Live in small herds of 3-5 animals deep in dense evergreen forests with highland and secondary humidity at altitudes of 900 to over 2,700m (Delacour, 1977). According to information from local people in Sa Pa, they have encountered Purple Pheasants at altitudes of over 2,500m, and occasionally at altitudes of 3,000m.

Regarding the Purple Pheasant recorded in the wild in Hoang Lien National Park, it was discovered and photographed by photographers in the rough-branched rhododendron forest area at an altitude of over 2700m, and the specific location was determined by the authors. hidden to protect this precious and rare bird.


A group of photographers went looking for a precious bird


Close-up image of Purple Pheasant (photographer Pham Hong Phuong)

To protect this rare bird species, Purple Pheasant has been included in the Vietnam Red Book (1992, 2000) and it is necessary to conduct research and investigation in high mountain areas in Hoang Lien National Park to collect evidence. data on natural populations. Besides, it is necessary to strengthen education for people to raise awareness of protection and completely ban hunting to avoid the risk of extinction./.

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