Although visitors cannot be received for the time being, the collection of the Debrecen Zoo is constantly growing not only due to the spring baby boom but also with the arrival of new residents. Himalayan pheasant roosters, which are also a rarity in European zoos, can now be seen for the first time in the Debrecen garden. Colorful newcomers from the Amersfoort Zoo in the Netherlands have already occupied their fly in the neighborhood of red pandas native to them in an area where visitors are expected to admire them in the company of additional Himalayan bird species after reopening. The zoo hopes that soon laying hens will also come alongside the roosters.
Himalayan pheasant (Lophophorus impejanus), revered as a national symbol of Nepal and the Indian state of Uttarakhand, is native to the Himalayan forests, shrubs and mountain slopes of 2,500-5,000 meters, making it the highest altitude of the region’s pheasant species. Its characteristic feature is that, unlike most of its relatives, its head is adorned with feather bob, which is especially pronounced in the case of roosters, which are magnificent in red, golden yellow, green and blue, while flattening in the case of more modest, brown-feathered hens. To dig out the seeds, tubers, shoots and insects that make up your food, you use a strong beak instead of your feet. He lives in pairs or small teams, and his communication toolbox includes a wide variety of beeps and gestures; the beginning of the mating season from April to August is marked by the characteristic melancholy whistle of the males.
Due to the declining number of individuals, the species is on the Red List of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). It is very rare in Hungarian zoos, as it can only be seen in the Szeged Game Park and now in Debrecen.
Dr. Sándor Gergely Nagy