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Congo peacock

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Congo peacock

Congo Peacock
A pair at Antwerp Zoo

(male on left of picture and female on right)

Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Subfamily: Phasianinae
Genus: Afropavo
Chapin, 1936
Species: A. congensis
Binomial name
Afropavo congensis
Chapin, 1936

The Congo Peacock (Afropavo congensis) is a species of peafowl. The male is a large bird of up to 64–70 cm (25–28 in) in length. Its feathers are deep blue with a metallic green and violet tinge. It has bare red neck skin, grey feet, and a black tail with fourteen feathers. Its head is adorned with vertical white elongated hair-like feathers on its crown. The female measures up to 60–63 cm (24–25 in) and is generally a chestnut brown bird with a black abdomen, metallic green back, and a short chestnut brown crest. Both sexes resemble immature Asian Peafowl, with early stuffed birds being erroneously classified as such before they were officially discovered as a unique species.

It inhabits and is endemic to the Central Congolian lowland forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is also considered as the National bird of the DRC. The diet consists mainly of fruits and invertebrates. The male has a similar display to other peacocks, fanning its tail in this case, while other peacocks fan their upper tail coverts. The male Congo Peacock is monogamous, though information from the wild is needed.

Very little is known about this species. It was first recorded as a species in 1936 by Dr. James Chapin based on two stuffed specimens at Congo Museum in Belgium. It has characteristics of both the peafowl and the guineafowl, which may indicate that the Congo Peacock is a link between the two families.

Due to ongoing habitat loss, small population size and hunting in some areas, the Congo Peacock is evaluated as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Gallery

See also

References

External links

  • — ARKive
  • BirdLife Species Factsheet
  • —gbwf.org
  • IUCN Red List
  • 264:1517–1523
  • The Cryptid Zoo: African Peacocks
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