A co-ordinated captive-breeding programme for Rothschild's or Mountain peacock pheasant: Polyplectron inopinatum



In the late 1980s a coordinated captive-breeding programme was initiated for Rothschild's or Mountain peacock pheasant Polyplectron inopinatum after it was discovered that the species was probably being smuggled from Malaysia to Singapore and being sold on from there. Under a captive-breeding agreement that was set up in 1991, ownership of wild-caught birds would remain with the Malaysian government as would 50% of any progeny: the other 50% would be owned by the holder of the birds as long as they continued to participate in the programme. Thirty-two Mountain peacock pheasants were removed from the wild over a number of years and c. 450 birds have hatched and been reared in captivity from sixteen of these original founders. This article describes basic husbandry and breeding procedures for P. inopinatum, as well as the success achieved by the co-ordinatcd captive-breeding programme.