The Annam Hill-partridge or Vietnam Partridge, Arborophila merlini, is a species of hill partridge in the Phasianidae family of birds. The taxonomy of the three scaly-breasted lowland hill-partridges is confused, and this species is sometimes treated as a subspecies of Scaly-breasted Partridge (A. chloropus), or both are lumped with Chestnut-necklaced Partridge (A. charltonii).
It is an endemic resident breeder in Vietnam in the dense moist lowland forests of central Annam.
This species is 29 cm long, with the female slightly smaller than the male. The male weighs 290 grams and the female 250 grams.
The Annam Hill-partridge has a finely barred brown back. Its head is paler except for a brown crown and ear coverts. It has a scaly upper breast, lacking the chestnut of its relatives, and the rest of the underparts are buff with dark arrow markings on the flanks. The sexes have similar plumage.
The call is a series of clear whistles.
Behaviour and status
This little-known and shy species feeds in small flocks on seeds, berries and termites. It is threatened by habitat loss through deforestation and is restricted to two small areas of Annam.