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Vulnerable Originally, a common bird of open forest and forest edges in lowlands and hills from E India east to S China and Indochina and south to western Malaysia, and with an isolated population on Java. Threatened by continued modification of habitat and direct persecution, with 5000-10,000 birds surviving by 2000. The relatively dull race spicifer is now apparently extinct in NE India and Bangladesh, while no recent information is available for the only other known area of its occurrence, W Myanmar; the slightly brighter imperator survives in low numbers in a highly contracted and fragmented range in SE Xizang, S Yunnan, W Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and probably E Myanmar; the brightest and greenest race nominate muticus is now extinct in peninsular Burma and Thailand as well as in W Malaysia, but survives in some small subpopulations totalling less than 1000 individuals on Java.
Items in the ZMA - 5 birds:
ZMA 38924-38925 Unsexed full-grown birds, undated [1800-1890], 'Java', Indonesia, old mounted skeletons.
ZMA 56845 Adult female, undated [before 1880], 'Java', Indonesia [but probably died in the Amsterdam Zoo], 'Pavo spicifer', mounted
ZMA 56846 Adult male, undated [before 1880], 'Java', Indonesia [but probably died in the Amsterdam Zoo], 'Pavo speculigera', mounted
ZMA 56847 Immature male, died 20 Jan 1904 in the Amsterdam Zoo, 'Pavo spicifer', mounted.
The males of the mainland races are bluish-green, imperator with metallic-blue neck, breast, and wing-coverts and blue-green outer webs of secondaries, spicifer with a duller and bluer neck and breast and more extensively black wing-coverts and outer webs of secondaries; nominate muticus is more golden-green than the others, less bluish on the neck and breast. The birds from Yunnan may form a 4th undescribed subspecies (BirdLife International 2001). No attempt is made to identify the subspecies of the birds in the ZMA, though they show indeed some variation in neck and breast colour (perhaps more linked with age and sex than with locality); the locality 'Java' on the label of some of them should be taken for granted, as the former name in Dutch was 'Javaanse Pauw' even when from India, though the provenance Java is not illogic, being a part of a former Dutch colony. Also the variation in old scientific names likely does not point to the origin of the birds.
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