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April 29, 2020 | The Clarion
Arts & Life
By Solomon Turner
Polyplectron germaini is a spectacutar
endemic species native to Indo-China where
it persists in very small regions in Vietnam
and Cambodia. In this area the largest sub
populations can be found in the scattered
forested wildlife preserves.
The habitat for these birds includes
mountainous regions covered in secondary and
disturbed forests as well as dipterocarp, a large
dominant tree species in Asia, evergreen and
semi-evergreen and bamboo forests.
Their coloration is largely what you expect
when thinking of peasants and peacocks.
The majority of their feathers are light grey
with white speckling. On their tails and
wings, peacock-like eyes provide elegant and
elaborate ornamentation. These eyes are dark
but iridescent greenish blue, often times purple.
Males, standing around 56 to 60 centimeters
tall, have a dark head with small pale white
bars on the upper part of the neck. They lack
a feather crest on their head but on their face
striking blood-red skin is visible. The eyes on
their feathers are larger than the females.
Females, standing around 48 centimeters tall,
are more uniform in coloration with small and
slightly pointed eyes on their feathers. They too
have the red facial skin but have more distinct
barring and speckling on the feathers.
According to Red Data Book: Threatened
Birds of Asia, the diet and breeding patterns
of these birds in the wild are largely unknown,
and research is still needed. The lack of specific
information may be due to the diverse range of
species of Polyplectron genus and the lack of
funding for research. It is known however that
the breeding season does encamp the February
and April months.
In captivity, the breeding pattern of these
birds is year-round. The female will lay a new
clutch of eggs, usually one to two eggs, once the
previous young is able to fend for itself
Polyplectron germaini is classified by the
lUCN Red List as “Near Threatened” due to
its small and declining population and range.
According to Bird Life International the
estimated total population of these pheasants is
around 10,000. The rapid decline of these birds
is hypothesized by researcher Nick Brickie and
Johnathan Fames to be due to the local high
hunting pressure and steady habitat loss.
The threats to these birds historically have
come from major deforestation and forest
fragmentation. The coffee and cashew industries
have also caused swaths of forests to be cleared
for agricultural purposes. Illegal hunting, logging
and trapping still pose a substantial threat to their
populations, even within preserves.
Polyplectron germaini sitting at a water bowl.
Good news: Quarantine puppies
By Caroline Hoy
Recently something very nice has happened
at the animal shelters. The shelters have not
had enough dogs and cats. People have been
adopting what has become known as quarantine
puppies and kittens.
With everyone sheltering in place at home with
nothing to do, they have a lot of time to spend
with a new friend. If this quarantine keeps up
who knows, all pets could end up being adopted
out of shelters. The adoptions have gotten so
high that some shelters don’t have any more
animals to adopt.
On Instagram the #quarantinepuppy has
over 5,000 results and even more results on
TikTok. It has become a trend on TikTok to post
getting new toys, food and then the new puppy.
Adopting a puppy has been very popular.
The truth of this story is that even when the
world seems to be falling apart there is still some
good in it. But of course there is some negative
to this story. To go out and adopt the animals
people risk contracting or spreading COVID-19.
Adopting can lift spirits and give animals
homes but think about yours and others’ safety
before making the decision.