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Tragopans And Peacock Pheasants
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Nathan Whitaker
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:46 pm    Post subject: Tragopans And Peacock Pheasants Reply with quote

Could someone please show me the desplays of all the species of tragopans(photos please)? And could someone inform me about the care of peacock pheasants?
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Jan Harteman
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nathan, what specific would you like to know?
It seems you need information of many species... but please try to be more detailed about the things you want to know.
Are you just starting with keeping/breeding birds, or do you have some personal experience in breeding birds and the species you mention?
Have you tried to find information on the internet, using Google? Or have you tried the website www.GBWF.org itself? There's quite some interesting information on the care of Tragopans and Peacock pheasants.
Try http://www.gbwf.org/pheasants/index.html
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Resolution
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Francy Herman's site has invaluable information on Tragopans. I believe his facilities are called the Tragopanry
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Jan Harteman
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And www.tragopan.nl is from AndrΓ© Van Der Wielen (Holland).
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Francy Hermans
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:34 am    Post subject: keeping and breeding tragopans and peacock pheasants Reply with quote

Hi,

surf to the tragopan fotopages, tragopan pheasantry fotopages, etc... in my website and you may find some more information.

All the best,
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Francy Hermans
Tragopan Pheasantry at http://www.tragopan.be
Tragopan Fotopages at http://tragopan.fotopages.com
Tragopan Pheasantry Fotogallery at http://tragopan.fotopic.net
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Nathan Whitaker
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pretty much read just about everything off of google. I found quiet a bit on tragopans( mostly the temmick and cabot species) but almost nothing on peacock pheasants.
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Resolution
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:47 pm    Post subject: Polyplectronidae Reply with quote



Extent species of "Peacock-Pheasants"




While the molecular estimates are off- (the lineages are considerably older than the most conservative estimate utilized in the study), this paper is probably the most significant contribution on Polyplectrons ever published.

www.zoo.ufl.edu/rkimball/Kimballetal.2001.BJLS.PDF

A new systematics overview of the Galliformes is to be published shortly. Some new information that may be of interest to readers of this forum- include the suprising fact that two ' partridge' genera : Haematortyx and Galloperdix are members of this group.
Hameatortyx male.
Not only are they related, they appear to only recently split and may be members of the same genus.
The Asiatic Spurfowl ( Galloperdix) are endemic to India and Sri Lanka. They inhabit deciduous, semi-arid scrub forests and hill forest. The 'Crimson-Headed Wood Partridge inhabits tropical alpine forest on the highest peaks on the island of Borneo.
We were suprised at the close relationship between these genera and also with great antiquity of the Polyplectron. They are truly the Archeopteryx of the Galliformes.


http://dino.lm.com/images/display.php?id=2760

Based on the latest nuclear DNA and other molecular data, the Polyplectron and its allies may be placed in their own family as their closest relatives ( two different families) are very distant from one another. In fact, Peacock-Pheasants are neither peafowl nor pheasants. Their closest relatives outside the two aforementioned genera are the Roul Roul and a handful of ancient Old World partridge-like genera. It is also surprising that the Polyplectron family appears to link the aforementioned Old World Sub tropical wood partridges ( Roul and Arborphila) with Guineafowl and New World Quail families. Molecular datas show that Polyplectrons are distantly allied with Ptilopachus ( Stone Partridge) and New World Tree Quails which form their own family. Polyplectron and its allies split from the Gallinate family tree shortly after Ptilopachus split from the New World Quail. Both groups appear to be descended from Gallunoides an extinct Guan-like fossil species. Gallunoides split into four families:
1.Agelastes/Phasidus /Guttera ( which in turn evolves into typical Guineafowl genera)
2. Ptilopachus/Tree Quail/ Mearn's Quail/ New World Quail
3. Polyplectron
4. Roul Roul/ Arborophila/ Caloperdix

Ithagenis appears to have split from this group as well but it is unclear as to which of these families it evolved from. Gallus and Francolinus evolved from the same group and again just when and where is unresolved at this date.
So- Polyplectron is a real living fossil.


This is the Hainan Polyplectron female, one of the most primitive of the Polyplectron.

Kokatri or "red spurfowl":

-

note the inumbriations in the female's plumage. She retains many Polyplectron traits where the male has lost them. The Galloperdix spurfowl are becoming more partridge-like with the aridification of the Subcontinental forests.




Polyplectron females:

And like Polyplectrons, the Galloperdix are strictly monogamous, leaning towards serial monogamy that appears to be polyandrous in origin.
Megapodes, Guttera guineafowl, Roul Roul, Mearn's Quail and Ithagenis Blood Pheasants exhibit facultative polyandry in the wild. Afropavo congensis has exhibited polyandry in captivity as have Acryllium guineafowl and Grey Peacock-pheasants. This tendency for one female to mated with more than one male is observed in many primitive avian orders and genera, for example, Emu, Cassowaries, Bustards, Kiwi, Tinamou, Jacana and Kagu-
This may have been the original reproductive strategy of the bird-like dinosaurs that evolved into birds.


I'm starting at the root and working upwards in order to make a few important points that are often missed in captivity. Polyplectrons are astonishingly similar to Archeopteryx and other feathered dinosaurs.

In order to appreciate these similarities, one has to gain some comprehension of the Polyplectron's least tropical members.
As the Kimball paper reports, the most subtropical species of Peacock-Pheasants living at the lowest elevations, exhibit the most "ornate" plumage. The most " ornate" species are actually the most 'primitive', or close to the basal branch of the Polyplectron family tree:

( Hainan,Bornean and Malayan Polyplectron males)

Bornean, Annamese and Hainan males- )
This completely contradicts Darwin's theory and all those authors from Beebe to Delacour and Johnsgaard that have basically repeated the mantra. The theory was that a plain, pheasant-like bird evolved into the ornamented versions and eventually this led to the ultimate development- the genera Argusianus and Pavo. Of course now we have Afropavo and realize that it and Rheinartia are basal to Argusianus and Pavo.

Chrysolophus ( golden and amherst) were believed to be slightly related to the Polyplectron but now we find that the Bulwer's is the closest living relative of CHrysolophus and both are basal to a whole host of pheasant genera.

Anyway, getting back to Polyplectron:

Galloperdix, Polyplectron and Haematortyx= Polyplectronidae

( Mountain Polylectron and Sumatran Bronze Tailed male retrices)
The least ' ornate' species inhabit the highest altitudes and or the driest habitats. These points of fact are compelling in that they force us to ask why the birds have become ornamented in the first place and why the more derived ( modern) forms have lost this ornamentation.
My own theory is that Peacock-Pheasants are reptile mimics but I'll get to that later.

Perhaps the first most important aspect of the Polyplectron and its allies is the presence of the multiple " kicking thorn" or 'spur'.

Haematortyx kicking thorns

Each species of Polyplectron, Galloperdix and the Haematortyx share this trait. To fully comprehend the significance of these spurs we have to take into account the role of small, bird-eating reptiles and nest-marauding non-obligatory predators in the natural history of these birds.

I suppose alot of people will ask, 'what in the world has this to do with the aviculture of Peacock Pheasants?'.

And I will tell them they are missing out on the majority of the fascinating behaviors in the Polyplectron repertoir. Their defense behaviors are astonishing.


*Please read up on the Sunbittern to learn more about Avian reptile mimics.
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Resolution
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok that was awfully lingo heavy. Peacock Pheasants are the coolest exhibit species- ever. They live forever and the longer you have them, the more you learn from hanging out with them. But do make a habitat for them - an appropriate one - one that is dark and multi-leveled- and make sure you feed them right- read up on insectivores before believing any pheasant breeder book on the subject- fruit and peanuts -mealworms and turkey pellet may work but they are far from ideal- the birds deserve better-
and lastly, make certain the enclosure has other species in it that help the Polyplectrons behave as they do in nature as nature intended them to behave.
I keep them with iguanas and tortoises, roul roul, Nicobar and Goura pigeons.
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Nathan Whitaker
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow Resolution, you sure know alot about Peacock Pheasants. And all of those pictures.
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Sheila Hancock Mckay
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:48 pm    Post subject: WOW Reply with quote

Admitting no knowledge on these guys excpet they look cool - my guess would be in Florida and other humid climates the right substrate or raising every thing on wire would be real important. Nathan , you might read the substrate discussion -it will be important for all birds. Resolution, you might describe the ideal enclosure beyond dark ( and how does one achieve dark?) and benefits of wire or no wire to Nathan.
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Turacoman
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:55 pm    Post subject: tragopans and peacock Pheasants Reply with quote

Resolution-

Could you please explain a bit about your setup? You said that you keep iguanas with roul roul, peacock pheasants and other species. Also maybe the dynamics of the group. Thanks in advance.
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Frankyboy5
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resolution, I think this is interesting. I had seen the paper somewhere on Kimball's website.

So Afropavo is polyandrous or monogamous? A lot of those birds are too? I know that Polyplectrons are monogamous but it originated from being polyandrous? I thought polyandry was rare in the avian world, present in phalaropes, and ratites. Wow!!!!!!! I can't believe that the so-called experts are getting EVERYTHING about galliform birds wrong. First it is the Dragonbird thing, then about them being monogamous, and then reforming most of the galliform birds into new families. Also, changes to the original hypotheses of evolution of the birds is also fascinating.
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Resolution
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the great thing about science. We gain more comprehension through research. Molecular studies have been fascinating and behavioral research is always compelling as well. Afropavo is monogamous. In captivity, we have seen helper systems employed. The young males were the helpers. This is analagous with what we have also seen in Argusianus and 'green peafowl'.
The facultative polyandry is suggested in the roles the adult males take in reference to nest defense, and foraging defense. In true polyandrous species the female breeds with more than one male and he goes to the task of incubating her eggs and rearing their chicks - generally without the assistance of the female.

In Megapodes, the female may or may not breed with more than one male and may or may not participate in nest mound maintenance-
regardless, it is the male that is responsible for the lion's share of defense and incubation duties.

In facultative polyandry and serial monogamy as we see in the Ceylon JF for example, one female is paired with two to three males- generally all siblings or a widower and his sons. While only one male ( alpha) is actually the mate of the female, the other two males participate in all aspects of nest defense, chick defense and so on and so forth. In the eventuality that the alpha male is lost or missing in action after a fight with a monitor lizard or forest hawk or something, one of the beta males probably takes up the role with vigour- only to be displaced when the alpha male reappears.


In the Great Argus and some of the Polyplectrons, species that maintain open "arenas" are creating a habitat where sunning, insect foraging, dust bathing and social bonding can occur. More than one male generally assists in the clearing of an "arena" and this takes place over generations.
Male Argus tolerate one another to a great degree while their females fight viciously. Females will not tolerate any other breeding age female within her territory. The males do tolerate other males within their territories, indeed they appear to depend upon cooperative efforts to defend their territories-

In the Roul Roul, the males create a grass igloo and maintain it together- a pride of males may participate in the maintenance and defense of that nest chamber.


Recent molecular studies of "lekking" semi-captive Indian peafowl showed that only one male actually breeds the alpha female. The other males performing in the "lekk" are actually only there as defense of the alpha male- generally their father or an older sibling.

In these examples, only one male is probably breeding. The other males are enablers. I doubt that many nests or chicks would survive without them.

Peacock pheasants are very interesting birds to keep. I generally keep my Grey Polyplectrons in groups of three males per one female.
The female pairs with one male, hatches chicks which she cares
for until one or both of the satellite males takes up their care. She then recycles and nests again. This strategy is also utlized at least occasionaly by roul roul, blood pheasants and ceylon JF.

Not true polyandry and not truly serial monogamy but something else- a helper system - the roots of which are possibly in Polyandry that in turn evolved into serial monogamy and then eventually- this evolved into monogamy with a helper system where by juvenile and subadult or non reporductive adults participate in the rearing of young. In species where maturity is delayed this is of utmost importance.
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Frankyboy5
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But the male Indian Peafowl is also monogamous? Yeah but you hear things about his harem of females and just going "who cares about you kids" about his young and getting more hens. Didn't Indian Peafowl diverge from Green Peafowl, closely related to siamensis?

So the female ceylon JF mates with her own siblings or even her sons?
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John Mason
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resolution Wrote

Quote:
Peacock pheasants are very interesting birds to keep. I generally keep my Grey Polyplectrons in groups of three males per one female.
The female pairs with one male, hatches chicks which she cares
for until one or both of the satellite males takes up their care. She then recycles and nests again.


This is very interesting information, which I wish that I had this spring. I did some research on Greys and purchased an unrelated pair last fall, as well as a solitary male from another source. I read and was informed that Peacock Pheasants were excellent parents and was planning on pulling the first couple of clutches, before letting the pair attempt to raise their own. I had one chick hatch from the first two eggs (lost in the brooder), second clutch (both hatched...both lost due to poor parenting from the foster bantam hen), third clutch pulled by my wife while I was out of town (infertile ??), fourth clutch left with pair (two happy and healthy chicks in the pen).

With all of that said, I will try the multiple male approach next season if I don't find a hen for my solitary male.

Resolution, Do you see any problems introducing a new male to a bonded pair?
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