Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)


Western Tragopan (Tragopan melanocephalus)


French: Tragopan de Hastings German: Schwarzkopftragopan Spanish: Tragopán dorsigrís

Phasianus Melanocephalus

J. E. Gray

, 1829,

Almora, India


Genus Tragopan contains two lineages, but position of this species is currently unresolved#R. Type locality is outside recorded range of present species, but close to its E limit; it has been suggested that type specimen was found in a bazaar. Monotypic.


Disjunct distribution in NW Himalayas from N Pakistan (Indus–Kohistan district) to NW India E to W Uttarakhand (Garhwal); possibly E to Kumaon (E Uttarakhand) and adjacent SW Tibet.

Descriptive notes

Male 68·5–73 cm (tail 22–25 cm), 1800–2150 g; female c. 60 cm (tail 19–20 cm), 1250–1400 g. Larger male is darkest Tragopan; red... read more


Advertising call, given by both sexes (from Mar or Apr), usually from roost perch early morning (... read more


Apparently found only in climax, transitional moist or dry temperate forest, typically of brown oak... read more

Food and feeding

Few detailed observations, as extremely shy and wary, but species believed to be primarily vegetarian, mainly eating new leaves, including... read more


Little information, but monogamous system assumed. Calling heard at dawn in Mar–Jun. One nest of six eggs found in a tree hollow 3 m... read more


Extent of seasonal altitudinal movements uncertain. In Himachal Pradesh, NW India, believed to be... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Mace Lande: Vulnerable. CITES I. Conservation problems facing present species are better known than for most other species in this genus. Total population may... read more

Recommended citation

McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Western Tragopan (Tragopan melanocephalus). 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 9 December 2019).