Sclater’s Monal or Crestless Monal

Sclater’s Monal, (Lophophorus sclateri), also known as the Crestless Monal, is distributed to mountain forests of southeast China, northern Burma and northeast India, at altitudes of 2,500 to 4,200 metres (8,200 to 13,800 ft).

The name commemorates the British zoologist Philip Lutley Sclater.

Sclater’s Monal, Lophophorus sclateri, also known as the Crestless Monal - Female

Description

Sclater’s Monal is a large, approximately 68 centimetres (27 in) long, pheasant of the east Himalayan region.

As other monals, the male is a colorful bird. It has a highly iridescent purplish-green upperparts plumage, short and curly metallic green crown feathers, copper neck, purplish-black throat, white back, blue orbital skin, yellowish-orange bill and brown iris.

In the nominate subspecies, the tail is white with a broad chestnut band, while the tail is entirely white in L. s. arunachalensis from western Arunachal Pradesh in India.

The crestless female is mostly a dark brown bird with a white throat and tail-tip, dull bluish orbital skin and a pale yellow bill.

Diet / Feeding

The diet of the Sclater’s Monal is like that of other members of the genus Lophophorus, probably consists mainly of tubers, roots, bulbs, arthropods, rodents, seeds and flowers.

The female usually lays between three to five eggs. The male Himalayan Monal guards the nest and helps rear the chicks.

It is not known if the Sclater’s Monal male participates in nest defense but it is likely.

Status

Due to ongoing habitat loss, small population size, limited range and overhunting in some areas for food and its feathers, Sclater’s Monal is evaluated as Vulnerable on IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix I of CITES.

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