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Elusive Bulwer’s pheasants successfully breed in Qatar

Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation (AWWP) in central Qatar established by H.E. Sheikh Saoud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al-Thani, a member of the royal family, successfully breeds many endangered wild birds. Among some of its most elusive inhabitants are Spix’s macaws, thought to be extinct in nature, Birds of Paradise and Bulwer’s pheasants.

Bulwer’s pheasants naturally occur in the lower montane forests of Borneo, Indonesia and are classified as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. These pheasants are extremely difficult to breed and haven’t successfully bred in captivity for several decades.

But now it appears that the bird team in Al Wabra has cracked the mystery to successfully breeding this magnificent species. For the first time ever two Bulwer’s pheasant chicks hatched and were reared successfully at the Preservation.

Breeding behaviour was observed and afterwards the female laid 3 eggs. Candling revealed that two eggs were fertile and the eggs were moved to the incubation room just before hatching.

When the chicks hatched they barely weighed 35 grams. Raj, one of the bird keepers, taught the chicks to eat by pecking towards the food with a small paint brush. “It was amazing to see how the chicks immediately followed this pecking movement and started taking the food off the floor” says Raj.

 

When the chicks were old enough and could eat completely independently, they were moved into their heavily planted outside aviary.

Both chicks are males and they have already started displaying towards each other. A donated female will arrive soon from Al Bustan Zoological Center near Dhaid, Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to hopefully form a second breeding pair.

This will hopefully be the beginning of successful breeding of this species as a vibrant captive breeding population is needed to bring attention to the conservation of this elusive species.

About Al Wabra

  • Al Wabra Wildlife preservation (AWWP) is a well-recognized and respected international conservation organization focusing on breeding and protecting threatened species.
  • AWWP is non-commercial and is not open to the public.
  • AWWP a member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA).
  • AWWP runs in-situ conservation programs in Brazil and Ethiopia.
  • AWWP is actively involved in education programs in Qatar.

Contact:

Tim Bouts, Director

timb@qma.org.qa or tbouts@alwabra.com

+974 5517 2027

Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation

PO Box 44069

Al Shahaniya

State of Qatar

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