The Malayan Peacock-pheasant, Polyplectron malacense also known as Crested Peacock-pheasant or Malaysian Peacock-pheasant is a medium-sized, up to 53cm long, spotted black, brownish pheasant with an elongated dark blue green crest, bare red facial skin, bluish-white iris and green ocelli on upperbody plumage and its tail of twenty two feathers. The female is smaller and duller than male.
A shy and elusive bird, the Malayan Peacock-pheasant is distributed and endemic to lowland forests of Malay Peninsula. At one time, this species was widespread in Malaysia, Thailand and also reported from Myanmar, Singapore and Sumatra. It is now disappeared from most of its former range. The remaining population confined to central Malaysia.
Together with the even more elusive Bornean Peacock-pheasant - its sister species -, and the more distantly related Palawan Peacock-pheasant it represents a basal group in its genus; their radiation probably took place during the Pliocene (Kimball et al. 2001). The former was in earlier times usually considered a subspecies of the present bird .
Due to ongoing habitat loss, small population size and limited range, the Malayan Peacock-pheasant is evaluated as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.
male's facial profile
male's ornamental plumes