Fan­tas­tic pheas­ants

Learn about the many threats fac­ing these iri­des­cent birds

World of Animals - - What's Inside - Words Lucy King

De­spite be­ing a com­mon sight across fields, hedgerows and wood­lands through­out the UK, pheas­ants are among the most en­dan­gered group of birds in the world. In­tro­duced by the Ro­mans, they are now wide­spread in the UK, but many species found over­seas are en­dan­gered, with some even on the brink of ex­tinc­tion.

One of the largest pub­lic col­lec­tions of rare-breed pheas­ants in the world is found in the UK at Sude­ley

Cas­tle in the Cotswolds, sur­rounded by thou­sands of acres of beau­ti­ful coun­try­side. The cas­tle pheas­antry is home to 16 species, many of which have been suc­cess­fully bred by res­i­dent game­keeper and bird cu­ra­tor John Sher­lock.

One species in par­tic­u­lar, the Ed­wards’ pheas­ant, has bred par­tic­u­larly well there, pro­vid­ing a real boost for the cap­tive pop­u­la­tion of a crea­ture that tops the peck­ing or­der when it comes to en­dan­gered birds.

Here we look at some of the bold, beau­ti­ful and rare pheas­ant species that can be seen at the Glouces­ter­shire at­trac­tion and the threats fac­ing some of their wild coun­ter­parts around the globe.

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