Angami ), Aogho ( Chang ) , Chingto ( Kuki) , Hur huri ( Assam and Miri ) , Aghah ( Sema).
Requirement of Climate and Habitat:
prefer high hills where the climate is cold and temperate where extremely cool during
winter and occasional occurrence of frost is there in higher altitude. Temperature varying
5 to 25 Degrees centigrade and average rainfall varying from 200 to 250 Cm is most
suitable for their habitat. In natural surrounding they usually live in a dense evergreen
forests with moderate undergrowth. Affects thick undergrowth in heavy evergreen forests.
Their common places of occurrence are along nallahs and streams where freshly succulent
vegetative growth of shoots and ferns is luxuriant and plentiful.
The most striking characteristic of
these birds is their beautiful plumage of the males. The hens are not brilliantly
coloured. It is of the size of a chicken. The male has an orange red in the neck with a
greenish blue patch at the lower side of the face. The feathers are spotted /dotted with a
brownish red colour. In males, around the eyes is
covered by white and black spots. When courting the cock inflates the large brightly
coloured patch on the throat and erects two long
fleshy horns above the eyes. This phenomenon is
seen when excited only. The hens are greyish brown and of similar size. The tails of
Tragopans are laterally compressed . The female has shorter tail than that of male. They
are terrestrial birds but roost on the branches of trees
not very high from the ground at nights spending most of the day time on the ground
scratching for food. They do not fly high above and long distance. Hence they climb step
by step till they reach their roosting branches. They roost in a particular place and make
it more or less permanent and flight is resorted to as and when dangers of disturbance
noticed. Of all other pheasants, Tragopan is
wonderfully coloured exhibiting all the dramatic colours of nature in its magnificient
plumage. They form a group of 3 or 4 members
in a given place. The male is very aggressive, leads the group and defends their territory from intrusion by
male of other groups of the same species. The migration takes place only when the
fragmentation of their habitats occurs. They occupy their territory for food and breeding
as big as one Sq. km. In the process of
occupation of territory, the male fight with the intruders sometimes ends with casualty or
Feeding in Natural Habitat:
the month of March every year, they select a breeding place usually on a rocky hideout
where the nest with dried leaves and twigs are made.
Having secured breeding territory and their partner, the male display of courtship
in many ways. Usually the female takes initiative and excites the male for mating. When
the male gets excited its two fleshy horns above the eyes become erected and seen
distinctively. Fanning and erecting the tail and dancing in front of the female is
observed. . The mating season starts from the
month of March and takes about a month or so. The mating language produce by male is
MAO, MAO, MAO with a deep base sound and the sound produced by the female is a
sharp quacking sound forming into musical tune. In natural environment, they lay 2 to 6
eggs per clutch but hatch out only 75 % of the eggs laid. The incubation of eggs by female takes 28 to 31 days. While incubating the female turns all the eggs in a
regular interval in order to maintain uniform temperature. When female comes out for
food the male use to guard the nest with excitement. While hatching, the female does not
roost on a tree but remains with the chicks/eggs.
Care for Young Ones:
As long as the chicks are not capable of climbing on trees, mother remains with the
chicks on the ground at night. For about a month or so mother takes care of the chicks.
Like domestic fowl, the chicks run a round with their mother immediately after hatching
out. As long as the chicks are unable to feed themselves the mother remains with them on
the ground, even at night. After one and half month they do not depend on their mother for
food and roam about freely.
in young stages in natural habitat is also very high due to preying by rodents, natural
diseases. Very often they fall from steep rock and die. When the chicks attains two to
three months old the chance of mortality is less.
They are omnivorous in habit.
They eat mostly ferns, fleshy and succulent/tender vegetative shoots, white ants, insects,
snails, worms, beetles, pebbles, feed on grains, seeds and fruits found in their natural
Need for Conservation:
The Tragopan is being hunted for its flesh and beautiful
plumage/ feathers. There is a lobby for the sale of male
Tragopan for its plumage resulting in abrupt reduction in the male population. A pair of
Tragopan is priced at Rs 15,000 to 20,000 in the black market . Some villagers who are
expert in capturing are being engaged for this venture. Due to human pressure, the habitats of these beautiful birds have been shrinking rapidly and in some pockets
even fragmented. The range of the species becomes divided into many small, isolated
fragments. Small relict bird populations
still remain in fragments of the original biotope, but because of their small size they
are susceptible to random genetic and demographic processes, and the possible consequences
of inbreeding. The risk of each of these mini-populations quickly dying out is thus great.
Population management in such cases is necessary : natural habitat management ( in-situ)
for isolated populations is possible, parallel with the management under Captive Breeding
( Ex-situ) to prevent further loss of genetic material in sub-population. These birds are
endemic to Nagaland but have become endangered and therefore immediate remedial measures
to save these birds from further depletion calls for ecological attention. The Tragopan
pheasant is included under part 111 of Schedule- 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act,
Objectives and for Tragopan Conservation Management:
order to ensure the sustenance of viable populations of Tragopan in its natural habitats
and to save from its extinction, the management strategy has to be adopted in ex-situ with
reference to in-situ conservation
The goal of ex-situ (off-site)
conservation is to provide support the survival of species in their natural environment
(in-situ). For ex-situ management, the existing Kohima Zoological Park will be improvised
and put into use as Captive Breeding Center which was established during 1973.
To build up stock of the species in
captivity, breeding in captivity and releasing it back into wild in order to reinforce/
supplement the natural populations.
To provide an avenue for conducting a
research on the birds & to impart education to the mass for its conservation campaign.
identify and prevent further fragmentation of natural habitats of the species.
save the species in in-situ environment.
3. To maintain ecological balance.
elicit support and ensure participation of the villagers in its conservation.
The trend of Tragopan population in Nagaland is as
The census conducted during
1989 in Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary, being natural habitat of Tragopan counted 309 Male and 181 Female, altogether 571 Nos. In Kohima
Zoological captivity, the population is as follows:
2. Ranikhet disease
attacked the whole killing all the birds.