White-eared Pheasant

(Crossoptilon crossoptilon)


White-eared Pheasant IUCN NEAR THREATENED (NT)


Facts about this animal

The white-eared pheasant is a medium sized pheasant. The sexual dimorphism is virtually lacking; the adult female is only distinguished from the male by the absence of spurs. The total length is about 58 cm. The head is covered with short, curly black feathers. The ear-coverts are moderately extended, forming white tufts. The bare parts of the head are scarlet. Its upper and under parts are white. The plumage of the tail is bronze at the base and shading into dark greenish blue and deep purple towards the extremity. The longer wing coverts are grey. The primaries are dark brown, the secondaries blacker, glossed with purple. The legs are long.

Did you know?
that white-eared pheasants live at an altitude of 3,000-4,300 above sea level? Their habitat includes coniferous and mixed forests near the treeline, and subalpine birch and rhododendron scrub.


Class AVES
Name (Scientific) Crossoptilon crossoptilon
Name (English) White-eared Pheasant
Name (French) Faisan oreillard blanc
Name (German) Weißer Ohrfasan
Name (Spanish) Faisán orejudo blanco
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Vladimír Motyčka



Range China
Habitat Occurs in coniferous and mixed forests near the treeline, plus subalpine birch and rhododendron scrub, at 3,000 to 4,300 m
Wild population Unknown, but decreasing (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 42 reported to ISIS

In the Zoo

White-eared Pheasant


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 16 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by

Why do zoos keep this animal

The white-eared pheasant is near-threatened in the wild and listed in appendix I odf CITES. Zoos should therefore have an interest in maintaining viable ex situ populations. There are, however, no regional breeding programmes and the number of birds kept by zoos is rather small.

The species is primarily kept for educational purposes as an example of the subalpine fauna of southern China, along with lesser pandas and Chinese muntjacs.