Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)


Mountain Peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron inopinatum)


French: Éperonnier de Rothschild German: Rothschildpfaufasan Spanish: Espolonero de Rothschild

Chalcurus inopinatus


, 1903,

Ulu Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia


Formerly placed in genus Chalcurus together with P. chalcurum. There is some evidence to suggest that present species forms a clade with P. germaini, P. katsumatae, P. bicalcaratum and P. chalcurum to the exclusion of the remaining members of the genus#R. May be most closely related to P. bicalcaratum#R. Monotypic.


Mountains of Peninsular Malaysia from Cameron Highlands S to Genting Highlands, in Larut Range to NW, and on E outlying peaks Gunung Tahan and Gunung Benom. Some evidence that the species occurs also in extreme S Thailand#R.

Descriptive notes

Male c. 65 cm (tail 32–40 cm); female c. 46 cm (tail 22–27·5 cm). Long-bodied and long-tailed peacock-pheasant that lacks obvious crest; easily separated... read more


Considered to be generally less vocal than congenerics. Male territorial call comprises 1–4 (... read more


Occurs throughout unlogged upper dipterocarp forest, and both lower montane and upper montane... read more

Food and feeding

One crop contained spiders, white ants, several grubs and other unidentified animal material; also reports of birds having consumed other... read more


Season apparently suspected to usually commence in Jan, based on female on lightly incubated eggs in Jan in Malaysia, small chick collected... read more


No information available.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Mace-Lande: vulnerable. CITES III in Malaysia. Based on anecdotal information and extent of habitat available, population is estimated to be 2500–10,000... read more

Recommended citation

McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Mountain Peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron inopinatum). 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 27 January 2020).