The pheasant family has long been to humans one of the most important groups of birds, encompassing the most abundant species of domestic fowl as well as the most extensively hunted wild game birds. Primarily ground-nesters and commonly found in temperate and tropical forests, pheasants are one of the bird groups most seriously threatened by human exploitation and habitat destruction. Nearly 20 million pheasants are killed by hunters annually in North America alone, and two-thirds of the 49 pheasant species found worldwide - including tragopans, monals, junglefowls and peacocks - are considered to be in some degree of danger. Surveying all pheasant species, from North America's ring-necked pheasant to the jewel-coloured peafowl of southern Asia, "The Pheasants of the World" brings together extensive information on the comparative biology and conservation status of wild pheasant populations. Species accounts address such topics as evolutionary history and relationships, social behaviour, habitats and population density, foods and foraging behaviour, movements or migrations, and reproductive biology.
Each species is illustrated by a colour photograph or a classic lithograph by Joseph Wolf, and 68 line drawings depict behaviour and anatomy. This second edition incorporates new information on the conservation outlook for each species and cites nearly two hundred new references, many of which represent recent research on previously little-known Chinese pheasants. Including range maps and identification keys, "The Pheasants of the World" is a comprehensive reference not only for ornithologists and conservationists seeking to ensure the survival of the group but also for aviculturists and others who want to better understand the nature of these splendid birds.
"The exquisite watercolors of Major Henry Jones, housed since 1921 in the Zoological Society of London, provided the impetus for the publication of this scholarly volume on pheasant biology. Renowned ornithologist Johnsgard updates the literature on pheasants by emphasizing their ecology and breeding biology. . . . Numerous maps, line drawings, and 53 color plates which celebrate the brilliance and subtlety of the pheasant plumage complete this handsome volume. For students and professionals in ornithology and related disciplines."--Library Journal