Elliot's Pheasant

Information about the Bird Elliot's Pheasant

Elliot's pheasant (Syrmaticus ellioti), is a large pheasant native to south-eastern China.

Males are up to 80cm (31in) long; they are brown and white with a black throat, chestnut brown upperparts, white belly, nape and wingbars, red bare facial skin and long rusty-barred whitish tail. Females are smaller, at 50cm (20in) long; they are rufous-brown with a blackish throat, whitish belly and less barred tail.
Elliot's pheasant is endemic to south-eastern China (Guizhou, Hubei, Anhui, Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangxi and Guangdong provinces), where it lives in evergreen and mountain forests at altitudes of 200-1,900m (660-6,230ft). Its diet consists mainly of seeds, leaves and berries.
Elliot's pheasant was first described in 1872 by Robert Swinhoe, under the name "Phasianus ellioti"; the type material was from Ningpo, Zhejiang province, China. The specific epithet ellioti commemorates the American ornithologist Daniel Giraud Elliot; Swinhoe explained his choice thus:
Although there is ongoing habitat loss, and the species has a limited range and is hunted for food, Elliot's pheasant is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, as it does not appear to be declining appreciably in numbers. It is listed on Appendix I of CITES.

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