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Discussion in 'Pheasants and Partridge (Chukar)' started by De Wet, Sep 30, 2012.
Is there any pheasant which is been exctinct and if can someone post some pics
Do you also include pheasants that are extinct due to hybridization?
yes please that will be interesting
In the recent modern area of extinction (1500-present), only the Himalayan Quail & the New Zealand Quail (although validity of the species is in question regarding the New Zealand Quail) are known to be extinct.... for now. An Argus species was described by a single feather, but many scientists doubt its validity of a species and dismiss the feather as from a normal Argus. The Edwards Pheasant was considered extinct in the wild for decades before a "re-discovery" was made in Vietnam. Give it some time, unfortunately, we'll have some more and probably soon.
If you broke it down to subspecies level, there no doubt some extincts due to interbreeding from races brought in by man. See the various Phasianus colchicus races dismissed as nothing more than "Ringnecks".
It is sad, which is why we need to focus on conservation aviculture to keep the species at least present on Earth (could you imagine 110 years ago if we could have set up a conservation breeding program in captivity for the Carolina Parakeet?). Instead of marketing pheasants like poultry, they need to be treated as fragile avicultural specimens whose future is in the hands of private aviculturists. China is roaring forward with development, so the time is now for people to start taking conservation aviculture seriously or these birds will end up the way of the Carolina Parakeet, Passenger Pigeon, Labrador Duck, and the other nearly 200 species that are gone forever due to human involvement.
I'm in agreement with you, but I think it's easier said than done. With so many hybrids out there, it's sometimes difficult to determine if you actually have a pure bird for conservation unless you do lots and lots of researching (even then, it could still be difficult). Using peafowl as an example, I've read a little about the green peafowl where some people got rid of all their birds so they can start out fresh with the pure specimen (which I think shows true determination for species conservation). Although some people are willing to do that, I don't think very many people will willingly destroy their hybrid birds especially when there could be some attachment to them.
You are right, it is very much easier said than done!!! We tried almost ten years ago to establish a program for pheasant aviculturists to network and create breeding programs much like the AZA Species Survival Plans, but it blew up because of one national organization wanting to take control and it became a war. I do know of a few who are trying again, I wish them well and will lend my materials and website as a source to promote it, but I don't trust the national organization will be able to keep their hands out of it again. I am however encouraged with what I've heard so far.
One of the models set forth was to work with a base group of birds. We had traced imports into the USA for the prior decade and contacted those who had done so to have their birds be a part of the program. Birds not used would be the ones from the marketeers of the bird world, the ones in it for a buck and could care less about hybrids. It wouldn't be a large group, but a group dedicated to the purpose. A bird whose lineage could not be proven would not be used. I believe it can be done, but people need to educate themselves. When I see posts like "I gotta pheasant, what do I feed it?" or "I bought a pheasant, what kind is it?", I just wanna smash my head into the desk!! Change the attitude regarding these birds is a must and it is offensive to see them listed like domestic poultry. I've tried with gbwf for almost 16 years and there are some outstanding, educated breeders in the US who really care about what they want to accomplish. I post within this forum as I know many are new to pheasant here and if one can them to see the big picture, perhaps they will continue with their education and take a conservation approach. Realize that the pheasant is a wild species, not a domestic breed. There will always be the bird breeding brokers, but we need a conservation minded core for the next generation and that's what I try to promote.
Yeah, it's nice to make a few bucks off your hobby, but think about the gratifying feeling you may have when you have contributed to the survival of a species. If one is breeder of birds to strictly profit, why not set aside an aviary or two for species that can belong to a breeding program? You can still get your money and yet you can still help the species. If we can get people to cooperate, the beginners to appreciate, people to educate themselves, I firmly believe that conservation aviculture of pheasants (and all birds) can be achieved.
As far as hybrids currently in the pool and people with them, I don't think they should be culled (I am very attached to everyone of my animals, so I know the bond), but rather removed from the breeding position. Perhaps used as surrogate parents or use the eggs for food, just don't continue to breed them just because you can. I had a bonded pair of a male Fischer's and female Peach-faced Lovebird, both common birds in captivity and wild, but when she would lay, I would always shake the eggs or remove them and place filled eggs. A little more work with altricial birds, but very easy for precocial birds. With Galliformes, I've keep hens of opposite species with males of opposite species many times, just remove and hard-boil the eggs!! If we can get people to understand this concept, there is no problem with existing hybrids.
Interesting. I didn't realize that you created gbwf until I checked your links. Some time ago, I did read a little about the past attempt on species conservation and the breeding program from your gbwf site. It's too bad it didn't work during that time. I do not know the detailed story but I'm sure those who are continuing the conservation attempt will be able to make it better this time around and it'll probably revolve around trust. As you say, people who have an interest in pheasants will have to start somewhere like here on byc before they, if they do, become serious about conservation. As for me, I've done my research on my galliforme of interest and you're preaching to the choir regarding conservation.
I have ofter heard that hybrds cannot reproduce, that the eggs of these birds are not furtile. Was wondering if anyone knew if this is a fact.
It depends on how closely related the genus is to one another. Most species within the same genus will produce fully fertile hybrids and others within the same clade can produce fertile offspring (ex: Phasianus & Chrysolophus). Others more distant will be sterile. Paul Johnsgard has a chart in The Pheasants of the World: Biology and Natural History.1999.
really my dream is also to play a part into breeding programs not just for ornamentals but for all galiformes species which is availble for the breeder march next year I willn add stone partridge to my collection and can t wait for it...