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Western tragopan (Tragopan melanocephalus) complete detail

Western tragopan (Tragopan melanocephalus) complete detail – updated. Description of Western tragopan (Tragopan melanocephalus). Classification of Western tragopan (Tragopan melanocephalus). Habit and habitat of Western tragopan (Tragopan melanocephalus). 
They prefer little-disturbed temperate coniferous and deciduous forests, with heavy understory. In winter, they to grassy or shrubby gullies with less snow cover. Size of adult male is between 65 to 73 cm, and the size of female is between 55 to 65 cm. The bill is short, strong and stout, with the forehead feathers almost reaching…………
Male western tragopan is bight dark, grey and black in color, with numerous white spots, each spot bordered with black and deep crimson patches on the sides and back of the neck. They have short occipital crest, two erectile and brightly colored fleshy horns that are erected during courtship, and a brilliantly colored gular lappet or bib that can be expanded and exposed during display………….
Age of sexual maturity is between 1.5 to 2 years. Nesting and breeding season is between April to June. Pairs start to form at the beginning of April. Age of sexual maturity is between 1.5 to 2 years. Nest is established either on the ground or in trees, usually using the abandoned nest of another species. 

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Click here to view State wise list of Indian state birds (symbols) – updated

Distinctive Identification

Western tragopan is a Schedule – I bird, according to wildlife (Protection) act, 1972 and classified as Vulnerable (VU) by the IUCN.

Size of adult male is between 65 to 73 cm, and the size of female is between 55 to 65 cm.  The weight of adult is male is between 1.75 to 2.25 kg, and the weight of female is between 1.25 to 1.50 kg.

Male western tragopan is bight dark, grey and black in color, with numerous white spots, each spot bordered with black and deep crimson patches on the sides and back of the neck.

They have short occipital crest, two erectile and brightly colored fleshy horns that are erected during courtship, and a brilliantly colored gular lappet or bib that can be expanded and exposed during display.

The bill is short, strong and stout, with the forehead feathers almost reaching the nostril. Throat of the western tragopan is bare, with blue skin while the bare facial skin is red.

Head is black, with red cheek patches. Sides of the head and throat are naked or only thinly feathered and brightly colored. The entire neck is red in color.

They have rounded wings, with the tenth primary the shortest, and the fifth and sixth the longest. The tail comprises 18 feathers, is rounded, and usually shorter than the wing.

Females have pale brownish grey upper parts finely vermiculated and spotted with black, and most of the feathers have black patches and central white streaks.

Young males resemble females, but are larger in size with longer legs and variable amount of black on head and red on neck.

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Classification

Common Name – Western tragopan

Local Lame – Jujurana

Zoological Name – Tragopan melanocephalus

Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Chordata

Class – Aves

Order – Galliformes

Family – Phasianidae

Subfamily – Phasianinae

Genus – Tragopan

Conservational Status – Schedule – I (Vulnerable (VU) According to IUCN Red List)

Distribution

Western Tragopan is endemic to the western Himalayas, occurring from Kohistan, east through Kashmir into Himachal Pradesh and possibly Uttaranchal, north-west India.

They found in Kohistan, Kaghan valley, Kishtwar, Chamba, Kulu and an area east of the Sutlej River. In summer it inhabits temperate coniferous and deciduous forests, with dense undergrowth, from 2400 to 3600 m. In winter, the Western Tragopan descends to grassy or shrubby gulleys with less snow cover, between 1500 m and 2800 m.

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Habit and habitat

They prefer little-disturbed temperate coniferous and deciduous forests, with heavy understory.  In winter, they to grassy or shrubby gullies with less snow cover.

The western tragopan lives in small groups or in pairs, and is believed to be primarily monogamous. They roost in trees singly or in pairs except during nesting.

The western tragopan is mostly arboreal but feeds on the ground. They feed on leaves, shoots, roots, flowers, acorns, seeds, berries, grubs, insects and some invertebrates.

These birds are secretive, shy and suspicious of humans, and quick to hide amongst the dense vegetation they inhabit if disturbed.

Click here to view State wise list of Indian state animals (symbols) – updated

The call of the western tragopan, described as a loud ‘way waah‘, during breeding season. Wailing cry ‘waa waa waa’, when agitated.

Nesting and breeding season is between April to June. Pairs start to form at the beginning of April.

Age of sexual maturity is between 1.5 to 2 years. Nest is established either on the ground or in trees, usually using the abandoned nest of another species. Eggs 2 to 6, and Incubated solely by the female. Incubation period is between 26 to 30 days.

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