Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)


Malay Peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron malacense)


French: Éperonnier malais German: Malaienpfaufasan Spanish: Espolonero malayo
Other common names: Malayan Peacock-pheasant

Pavo malacensis


, 1786,

East Indies = Malacca


Has been considered closely related to P. napoleonis and P. schleiermacheri#R, but fuller molecular analysis required#R. P. schleiermacheri has been considered a race of present species (see that species). Monotypic.


Malay Peninsula (almost exclusively S of Isthmus of Kra) in S Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia. Possibly extinct in Thailand. Reports of its presence in Sumatra and Myanmar rejected#R.

Descriptive notes

Male c. 50–53 cm (tail 24–25 cm), 581–680 g; female c. 40–45 cm (tail 18–19 cm); 455–540 g. Rather small peacock-pheasant that is replaced... read more


Overall levels of calling are low. Male territorial call is loud, slow, melancholy “... read more


Occurs in evergreen rainforest in level lowlands. Inhabits forest dominated by tall dipterocarp... read more

Food and feeding

Diet largely unknown, but species is probably opportunistically insectivorous, frugivorous, or both. Faeces and stomach contents include... read more


Breeding season uncertain, but system is almost certainly polygynous. Males call and maintain display scrapes, which are areas of forest... read more


Appears to be sedentary; birds switch roost sites each night. Bimonthly home range of three non-... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Mace-Lande: vulnerable. CITES II. Restricted range; species occurs in a low-priority Endemic Bird Area. Overall range estimated at 117,000 km², within which... read more

Recommended citation

McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Malay Peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron malacense). 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 10 December 2019).