Atlas of Pheasants: Western Tragopan Tragopan melanocephalus

Atlas of Pheasants: Western Tragopan Tragopan melanocephalus

Classification and distribution - Western tragopan

Kingdom: Animals
Phylum: Cordati
Subphylum: Vertebrates
Class: Birds
Order: Galliformi
Family: Phasianides
Genus: Tragopan
Species: T. melanocephalus

Considered not only the rarest of the tragopans, but even the rarest of all pheasants, the western tragopan is extremely threatened and seriously threatened with extinction; it is endemic to the Himalayas.

Distinctive characters

It is not among the most striking tragopanes: the male has a black head and forehead, a red face and neck, the body is dark brown, flecked with white with a black tail, the female is on the whole brown with various shades of brown, the two sexes have beak and black eyes and gray-pink legs; they complete the plumage and are sexually mature from the second year of life.

Western tragopano male Tragopan melanocephalus (photo John Corder


Very rare bird, it is almost not bred in Europe where, between 1858 and 1981, about fifty specimens were imported but due to various factors (difficulty in acclimatising, extremely wild nature, diseases, etc.) there is no news of specimens that have managed to reproduce; the only factor that does not present excessive difficulties in breeding this tragopan seems to be nutrition, mainly vegetarian which must be integrated with invertebrates and insects.

Reproduction: April May
Hatching: 28 days
Number of eggs: 3 4
Cohabitation: monogamy

Pair of Western Tragopano Tragopan melanocephalus (photo

Thanks to Pasquale DAncicco

Video: Public Land Pheasant Hunting with my Dog! South Dakota (September 2021).