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|Image Info||Original File Name: Siamese_Dragon-Indo-Chinese green peafowl, Pavo muticus imperator.jpg Resolution: 1944x1296 File Size: 1282297 Bytes Date: 2007:01:24 23:33:13 Camera: Canon EOS 400D DIGITAL (Canon) F number: f/7.1 Exposure: 1/125 sec Focal Length: 72/1 Upload Time: 2007:09:29 05:49:26|
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|Subject||Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) - Wiki|
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Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) - Wiki
Unfortunately, captive stocks supposedly of pure Java Greens such as the Rodney Michael stock are a mix of the two forms. This is due to the fact that Jean Theodore Delacour assumed the two were identical.
Pavo muticus spicifer
P. m. spicifer is the dullest and bluest race. Distributed in northeastern India and northwestern Myanmar west of the Irrawady river, it is often mistakingly thought to be extinct, though is quite rare. It can also be found in Thailand and was one of the three forms that existed in Malaysia.
Aviculturists refer to them as Burmese Greens. Birds seen or imported from Myanmar are often automatically considered spicifer and the race is often considered the predominant subspecies in captivity with 500 individuals. However, this is misleading ; it is possible that the captive population consists mostly of imperators instead. Also just because a Green Peafowl is found in Myanmar does not mean it is spicifer (K. B. Woods in litt. 2000).
This may have been the bird introduced into Malaysia instead of Pavo muticus muticus, as while the WPA stated that the birds were of the race P. m. muticus, pictures of some of the birds used in the reintroduction suggest spicifer, specifically the rare distinctive form that exists in Tenasserim (others suggest the wrong Javanese form of muticus muticus).
According to Kermit Blackwood, it is from spicifer that the Malay, Annamese, and Javanese forms diverged from.
Pavo muticus imperator
P. m. imperator is the second brightest race, next to muticus. Though being slightly duller, imperator has a brighter facial pattern.
It is found east of the Irrawady river in Indo-China Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia and south to Thailand. Unlike earlier speculations, this subspecies was not the one that existed in the Isthmus of Kra.
Recent research regarding systematics
Preliminary data from K. B. Woods (Kermit Blackwood) suggests that the Green Peafowl is actually a complex of several distinct species, each with subspecies of their own, and that each species had evolved similarly with each species of Lophura pheasants, which Blackwood believes that some subspecies and forms of certain species should be considered distinct species. The data also shows that each species lives in a different habitat, which is shared by one species of Lophura. For example, he says that the so called Pavo annamensis which favors broadleaf forests, shares the habitat with Lophura annamensis (a species split from Lophura nycthemera). Wolfgang Mennig has also utilized Blackwood's systematics (even though his publication only calls them subspecies) and is indeed a close friend of Blackwood. Any hard scientific data supporting the multiple Green Peafowl species theory remain unpublished.
Kermit Blackwood and Wolfgang Mennig believe there are six living species:
Pavo muticus - The extinct Malay Pahang form. It has a gold sheen, a blue head and a rose-green back. There were two subspecies which inhabited lowland, semi-deciduous dipterocarp forests and lowland rainforests. Though extinct in Malaysia, there are numbers in captivity.
P. annamensis - The Annamese form (see below) is native to broadleaf evergreen, mixed broadleaf and deciduous broadleaf forests of Yunnan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. It shares similar traits to the Malaysian form but instead has a blue back. There are 4 subspecies. The Bokor subspecies P. a. bokorensis, which also inhabits submontane forest, and submontane grassland, is possibly a distinct species, but is treated here as conspecific.
P. javanensis - Javanese form living in the coastal rainforest and dry monsoon forests of the Sunda Straits has two subspecies, Ujung Kulon and Baluran (see above).
P. spicifer - The Burmese form has four subspecies, including the Tenasserim form which was introduced into Malaysia. It can be found in Myanmar, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and possibly Tibet. It inhabits semi-evergreen rainforest; dry montane, northern subtropical and elephant grass/bamboo forests, though the Arakan subspecies P. s. arakansis inhabits moist evergreen, elephant grass and timber bamboo forests.
P. imperator - This form is actually more related to the Indian Peafowl than to other forms of Green Peafowl. This bird inhabits moist deciduous forests and tropical savannahs. The Siamese subspecies P. i. siamensis is shown in the painting above. It is very distinctive, and has the most vivid facial skin of any Green Peafowl, with bold tangerine war-stripes and a bright blue loral axe.
P. antiqus - First described by K. Blackwood in 2000, the Yunnan form seems to differ from all other forms (see below). It inhabits the montane forests of Yunnan.
A Hainanese species also existed, either a close relative of muticus and annamensis, or a form of the Imperator.
Additionally, Wolfgang Mennig, a Green Peafowl breeder and private conservationist working for the World Pheasant Association in Germany, believes that the subspecies imperator is really a group of four, or five subspecies: P. m. imperator, P. m. annamensis, P. m. angkorensis, and P. m. laotius. He also suggests that that P. m. yunnanensis could be another subspecies in this group and even says that some taxonomists believe there were ten subspecies, some of which are extinct.
Translated section from a German PDF:
“ The subspecies of the Pavo muticus imperator is divided into 4, or if the one that lives in west China yunnanensis counts, 5 different subspecies. Pavo muticus imperator whose range is from central Thailand to Myanmar, annamensis, or vietnamensis within the coastal range of Vietnam from north to south, and angkorensis from Cambodia and the laotius in central Laos. ”
According to recent genetic work, the Javanese form of P. m. muticus is different from the Malaysian (see above).
Some systematists and breeders have already identified at least two additional sub/species.
Pavo (muticus) antiqus
The birds inhabiting Yunnan may be a fourth possible subspecies:
“ The form in Yunnan is not separated taxonomically but it apparently differs in a few aspects from other forms, particularly in its forest-dwelling habits, an "odd, monal-like bill", a curiously long hind toe and longer, more slender wings (K. B. Woods in litt. 2000). Its taxonomic placement should perhaps be investigated further. ”
Madge and McGowan (Pheasants, Partridges and Grouse ISBN 0-7136-3966-0) also suggest that the Yunnan form might merit subspecific status because of its differences from other imperator birds.
Morphologically speaking, this form is most closely related to the Pilocene Peafowl Pavo bravardi.
It is endemic to mixed tropical pine and broadleaf evergreen forests in the mountains of northern western Yunnan; Southern Eastern most Tibet and southern western Sichuan where it is believed extinct today. This form is also significantly larger than other Green Peafowl and lives in much cooler climates than typical Green Peafowls. This region is an important region for Pliocene fossils. Fossil peafowl from Java have also been described from Pleistocene up to the Holocene.
Some actually think that at least four forms of Green Peafowl exist in Yunnan, including this one, the Yunnan form of the "true" imperator, the Annamese form, and the Tennasirim spicifer which may occasionally stray into Yunnan.
Pavo (muticus) annamensis
Another form that differs from other imperator birds is also said to live in parts of Yunnan, as well as certain parts of Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos and Vietnam in the Annamite Range. The male is said to exhibit a bluer head and back plate than other imperator birds and both sexes are said to have a stronger golden sheen similar to muticus. In fact, muticus derived from this race and may even be considered conspecific. The irides are also unusually pale. The bird also prefers broadleaf evergreen forests. Because of all the differences, some believe these birds may also merit subspecific status soon.
When Jean Th??odore Delacour examined skins of these birds, he thought they were a mere "individual variation". Opponents of this statement point out that there was more than one bird with such differences, and that the birds did not fit the description of imperator.
Some breeders have called the bird P. (m.) annamensis.
In a page on the German WPA site about P. m. imperator, it also mentions yunnanensis and annamensis. It also says that annamensis, vietnamensis, angkorensis (called angkorensi on the page), and laotius are all the same subspecies and are either geographical forms or subspecies inside the subspecies of annamensis.
Due to hunting and a reduction in extent and quality of habitat, the Green Peafowl is evaluated as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.
Hybridisation with the Indian Peafowl may also be a cause for the decline of the Green Peafowl, damaging the gene stock of captive birds. Certain birds both in the wild and captivity which are thought to be pure Green Peafowl are really hybrids, known by some as "spauldings" or "spaldings".
While many sources say there is no natural range overlap between the two species, feral populations exist in ranges, leading to more hybrids. Hybrids mostly live around Buddhist palaces, and sacred gardens, and often resemble Indian Peafowl with a hint of Green Peafowl shape and color. Sometimes epistasis occurs and some hybrids have white plumage yet still have iridescence. There is indeed some speculation that pure Green Peafowl of the Imperator form used to also have a white phase. Some stamp makers have mistaken hybrids for the true Green Peafowl . Some videos supposed to depict the Green Peafowl also show hybrids .
Although all subspecies are declining, P. m. spicifer and P. m. imperator are not declining as much as P. m. muticus. Some breeders mistakingly say that the race spicifer is extinct, although this is not true. Nonetheless, this subspecies is also declining rapidly. The race/group imperator may still be common (though declining) in isolated parts of its range.
The nominate race supposedly lived in Malaysia, as well as the Isthmus of Kra, but had became extinct in the 1960s.
In 2005, The Star reported that successful reintroductions were being made in Malaysia by the World Pheasant Association (WPA).
However, the reintroductions have not been without controversy. The publication stated that the Javan and Malay form were genetically identical, which has been widely accepted by the scientific community. However, some do not believe the forms are identical, accusing the WPA of a misinformation campaign, and that the two forms are behaviourally, ecologically and genetically distinct. More recent genetic work has also confirmed that the two forms are genetically different. Because of the notion that the two forms were not identical there are concerns that the wrong form was introduced. Further emphasizing this was that the birds depicted in the publication were that of the Baluran Javan form. However, the DNA of the introduced stock allegedly matched that of old museum skins in Malaysia.
Even the claim that "P. m. muticus" was introduced is controversial ; a picture of a peahen in Malaysia has been identified by Kermit Blackwood as spicifer . This is said to have been a bird used in the reintroduction as it was found outside of Melaka Zoo. The German WPA site also confirms the individual female as a spicifer. If Blackwood's and the WPA's identification is right, then at least part of the stock was spicifer. However, Blackwood believes that the Tennasirim bird was also native to Malaysia but is also an endangered species that has become extinct in the region.
Still, the Malaysian form of Green Peafowl remains largely extinct. Some of the last hopes for this form to survive depends on Wolfgang Mennig's "Javanese" stock, as well as remaining small numbers in Thailand. Fortunately, there are quite a few of these birds in captivity, and there is still the hope of a future reintroduction for the true Pahang Dragonbird to return to the wild.
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