Home Eco Tours Western Horned Tragopan

Local Name: JUJURANA
The tragopans or horned pheasants are medium-sized mountain pheasants in which the sexes are highly dimorphic, the males tending toward crimson on the head and sometimes elsewhere, and with extensive white to buffy dorsal spotting. The wings are rounded, 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. The tail moult is perdicine (centrifugal). The bill is short and stout, with the forehead feathers almost reaching the nostril. The tarsus is very stout, about as long as the middle toe and claw, and in males has a short spur. Males also have a short occipital crest; two erectile and brightly coloured fleshy horns that are erected during courtship, and a brilliantly coloured gular lappet or bib that can be expanded and exposed during display. The sides of the head and throat are naked or only thinly feathered and brightly coloured. Five species are recognized.
HABITAT Rhododendron, bamboo and other dense vegetation in coniferous or Oak forests at between 2,400 and 3,600m elevation, the birds moving lower to 2,000m in winter.
GEOGRAPHICAL SPREAD Divided into small isolated populations probably numbering fewer than 100 individuals in each, within its former range. Populations are still present in North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, India. Apparently now absent from other more southerly parts of the historical range, extending along the front ranges of the Himalaya.
CURRENT POPULATION Estimates suggest that some 900 birds exist in Pakistan and perhaps 5,000 in India, but numbers are declining.
SIZE Male body length 69 to 74cm; tail 22 to 25cm. Female body length 60cm; tail length 19 to 20cm.

WEIGHT Not available.
NORMAL DIET Buds, shoots and young leaves, as well as berries, seeds and insects.
NORMAL LIFESTYLE Among the most arboreal of pheasants. Lives in small family parties. A hen Western Tragopan has been observed lining a nest 12m up in a silver spruce with green oak leaves and sappy twigs. Normal clutch is three to four eggs. Tragopans are shy and wary and quick to skulk among the dense vegetation they inhabit.
PREVIOUS GEOGRAPHICAL SPREAD Formerly more widespread, from Swat (Pakistan) eastwards to the Bhagirathi River in Tehri Garhwal (India).
REASONS FOR DECLINE Forest loss, land conversion, hunting, fodder and fuel wood collection, disturbance by humans and their herds of goats.
SPECIAL FEATURES Possibly the most colourful of the pheasants. The species has proved very delicate, and hard to rear in captivity.
Jujurana as they call the western tragopan in kullu district of Himachal Pradesh means king of the birds. According to a local legend god created this colourful pheasant with the help of the most beautiful feathers of each bird in the universe. The name relates the grandeur and beauty of WT that it enjoys among the local villagers. It is known as Pyara in Kinnaur; Jyazi in Bushahr, and Fulgar in Chamba and Kangra districts. The world distribution of WT is limited to parts of Pakistan, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Its confirmed eastern limit of distribution is Himachal-Uttar Pradesh boundary at the junction of Kinnaur (HP) and Uttarkashi (U.P.) districts. This pheasant has been well documented from the Great Himalayan National Park, and Rupi-Bhaba and Daranghati wildlife sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh. However, there is no confirmed record of WT occurring in wild from adjoining district of Uttarkashi in U.P. Hills.
The latest reports of WT come from the surveys in Sutlaj and Beas catchments. The Thar Jot site near Daranghati sanctuary is the first definite site for WT reported for over 30 years east of the Sutlaj. The Thar Jot area has primeval forest of Deodar Cedrus deodara, Fir Abies pindrow, and Spruce Picea smithiana with a thick understorey of ringal bamboo Arundinaria falcate. This is a typical WT habitat between 2500 and 3300 m altitude which does not appear to tolerate biotic disturbances. Such type of WT habitats now exist in very interior forests of Himachal, most of which are part of the protected areas. The local communities also know WT as `sing wala panchi' or the Western Horned Tragopan. The Sarahan Bushahr pheasantry in Shimla district houses the only existing breeding pair of WT in captivity anywhere

The Middle Himalayas in the Biogeographical Provinces 2A and 2B between 2500 and 3000 metres msl .

Jujurana in Kullu , Pyara in Kinnaur , Jyazi in Bushar , and Fulgar in Chamba and Kangra district.
Included in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection)Act,1972. Endangered in IUCN Red Data Book.
Male71 cms Female 60 cms. A large brightly colored game bird with golden breast. Body heavily spotted white or gray brown above and black and red below. Black crown, bright red hind neck and cheeks with green throat. Female grayish brown spotted white. Long thick tail and long pink legs. The loud bleating repeated waah waah call. The clutch size is unknown, but probably 3-4 eggs and incubation period is 28 days. Roots in trees and nests on ground.

The deodar , fir and spruce forests with thick under storey of ringal bamboo is typical habitat of this pheasants.Feeds on ground on seed, fruit, shoot, leaves and invertebrates. Very skulking but comes into open early and late in day.

Male display horns and lappets on head during breeding season. Local communities also know it as 'sing wala panchi' or Horned Tragopan. According to the local legend, god created this colorful pheasant with the help of the most beautiful feather of each bird in the universe. Jujurana as they call in local parlance means 'king of the birds'.

The latest report of Western Tragopan come from surveys in the Sutlej and Beas catchments. The Thar Jot site near Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary is the first definite site of Western Tragopan.The Sarahan Bhushar pheasantry in Shimla district houses the only existing three males in captivity any where in the world. The species has only once been breed in captivity.
For more information on western Tragopan please visit following website http://ghnp.rediffblogs.com
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