Rare pheasant snapped in Sumatra

Nov 18, 2013
Rare pheasant snapped in Sumatra
Male Hoogerwerf's pheasant. Credit: FFI/BKSDA Aceh

Following on from the three-day camera trapping workshop which produced images of the unusual golden form of collared mongoose the Fauna & Flora International (FFI) Aceh team have made another scoop – this time the rarely seen Hoogerwerf's pheasant, Lophura hoogerwerfi.

Known also as the Aceh pheasant or Sumatran pheasant, this is endemic to northern Sumatra, Indonesia and listed as Vulnerable by IUCN.

Initially identified by a female specimen in 1979, the male wasn't clearly seen until a few individuals were found in a market 20 years later. Roughly chicken-sized, the male is a deep bluish-black with a bare red face, while the female is buffy brown.

Hoogerwerf's pheasant was once believed to be a subspecies of Salvadori's pheasant – another Sumatran endemic that was first photographed in the wild by FFI's Kerinci Programme in 1996 – but has since been accepted as a separate species.

FFI's species conservation coordinator, Munawar Kholis, who managed the Aceh trapping programme added, "Hoogerwerf's pheasant is a shy species that doesn't call. Camera traps are the most effective way we have of detecting their presence in an area."

Rare pheasant snapped in Sumatra
The first published photograph of the Sumatran ground cuckoo, taken by FFI in Kerinci Seblat National Park. Credit: FFI/KSNP

Rare pheasant snapped in Sumatra
Female Hoogerwerf's pheasant. Credit: FFI/BKSDA Aceh

This latest record adds to the archive of scarce and endemic species camera trapped by FFI in Sumatra, including the Sumatran striped rabbit, Sumatran peacock pheasant and Sumatran muntjac.

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