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Species Guide

Sclater's Monal

Lophophorus sclateri

The Sclater's monal, known scientifically as Lophophorus sclateri and colloquially as the crestless monal, is a resplendent Himalayan pheasant. This large bird measures approximately 68 centimeters in length, with the male displaying a vivid array of colors. The male's plumage is a tapestry of iridescent purplish-green on the upperparts, complemented by short, curly metallic green crown feathers. A coppery neck transitions to a purplish-black throat, while the back is a stark white. The skin around the eyes is a striking blue, and the bill a yellowish-orange, with brown eyes peering out. The tail of the nominate subspecies features a white base with a broad chestnut band, whereas the L. s. arunachalensis subspecies boasts an entirely white tail. The female, in contrast, is predominantly dark brown with a white throat and tail-tip, her orbital skin a duller blue, and her bill a pale yellow.

Identification Tips

When identifying the Sclater's monal, look for the male's distinctive iridescent green crown and copper neck. The female is more subdued in color but can be recognized by her white throat and tail-tip. The species' size and the male's colorful plumage make it distinguishable from other birds in its habitat.


This monal prefers the mountain forests of the east Himalayan region, thriving at elevations between 2,500 to 4,200 meters.


The Sclater's monal graces the high-altitude landscapes of north-eastern India, south-eastern Tibet, and northern Burma.


The Sclater's monal's diet is believed to be varied, consisting of tubers, roots, bulbs, arthropods, rodents, seeds, and flowers. The female typically lays a clutch of three to five eggs. While it is uncertain if the male takes part in nest defense, it is a possibility worth considering.

Conservation Status

The Sclater's monal is currently classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This status is due to factors such as habitat loss, a small population size, a limited range, and overhunting in certain areas for both food and feathers. The species is also listed on Appendix I of CITES, reflecting the international concern for its conservation.

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