Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus)


French: Lophophore resplendissant German: Rostschwanzmonal Spanish: Monal colirrojo
Other common names: Impeyan Monal, Himalayan Monal-pheasant

Phasianus impejanus


, 1790,



Closely related to L. sclateri. Several geographical races have been described, namely chambanus (from Himachal Pradesh, in N India), males of which lack any white and have extensively green breast, mantoui (males with green replaced by purple) and obscura (males with body feathers mostly black, and gloss confined to wings); furthermore, females in E of range are richer rufous; individual variation in this species is, however, so great that naming of races seems unwise#R. Monotypic.


NE Afghanistan E along Himalayas to Bhutan and NE India, and N into S Tibet and NW Yunnan (S China)#R and NE Myanmar (around Putao).

Descriptive notes

Male 70–72 cm, male 1980–2380 g; female 63–64 cm, c. 1800–2150 g. Male differs from those of other monals by peculiar wirey crest and all-rufous tail... read more


During breeding season and earlier, mainly from dawn to mid morning and again around dusk, male... read more


Inhabits open coniferous or mixed forests with rhododendron and bamboo understorey, usually in... read more

Food and feeding

Diet apparently varies according to locality, but includes seeds, tubers, shoots, berries (e.g. Cotoneaster microphylla), insects... read more


Dawn calling occurs sporadically throughout most of year, but perhaps more predictably in Jan–Jun; display by males observed in Apr,... read more


Believed to show largest altitudinal movement of all Himalayan pheasants. In Himachal Pradesh, NW... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: safe. CITES I. A widely distributed species that is still common throughout its range (c. 480,000 km²) in suitable... read more

Recommended citation

McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 12 December 2019).