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Edwards's Pheasant Images
Edwards's Pheasant, Lophura edwardsi, is a bird of the pheasant family Phasianidae and is endemic to the rainforests of Vietnam. It is named after the French ornithologist Alphonse Milne-Edwards and first described to science in 1896 The bird's length is and has red legs and facial skin. The male is mainly blue-black with a crest, and the female is a drab brown bird. Edwardss Pheasant is almost identical to the similarly-sized Vietnamese Pheasant, which it overlaps with throughout its range. The male bird however lacks the white tail feathers of that species. The alarm call is a puk!-puk!-puk!. There are two varieties; the nominate form L. e. edwardsi has a white crest and upper tail, whereas the northern form L. e. hatinhensis is found with a variable number of white retrices. This difference in the two forms may be due to inbreeding of a restricted, fragmented population there, and has also been seen in captive, inbred L. e. edwardsi. The northern form is sometimes given a separate species status by some authors, Vietnamese Pheasant, Lophura hatinhensis (Vo Quy, 1975). In 2012 both forms of Edwards's Pheasant have been uplisted to Critically endangered by Birdlife International, having suffered from deforestation, hunting and the use of defoliants during the Vietnam War. The population is currently believed to number between 50 and 249 birds in the wild, mostly of the nominate form, but it is doing well in capivity, where it is the subject of ex-situ conservation. There have been no confirmed sightings since 2000 and in 2010 the World Pheasant Association (WPA) received funding from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund to survey forests in the central Vietnam provences of Quang Binh and Quang Tri.