Congo peafowl

Afropavo congensis

This bird lives in the jungles and forests of the lowlands of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It feeds on a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and seeds, as well as on different types of invertebrates. It displays a clear sexual dimorphism. The colouring of both sexes is very different and the male has an attractive white plume on its head.

Breeding program

ESB_Zoo_Captura

Natural habit

This species is endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo. It prefers tropical and subtropical rainforests up to 1200 metres high, although generally picking drier habitats at higher altitudes. However and due to the intensification of croplands and jungle destruction, it is increasingly more common among crops and artificial clearings created by deforestation.

Congo peafowl
  • Distribution / Resident
  • Breeding
  • Wintering
  • Subspecies

Risk level

  • Extint
  • Extint in the wild
  • Critically endangered
  • In Danger
  • Vulnerable
  • Near threatened
  • Minor concern
  • Insufficient data
  • Not evaluated
Vulnerable

Taxonomy

Class
Aves
Order
Galliformes
Family
Phasianidae

Physical characteristics

1,1-1,5 Kg
Birth Weight:
60-70 cm
More than 15 years

Biology

Habitat
Forest
Social life
Solitary
Feeding
Omnivorous

Reproduction

Gestation
25-28
Days
Baby
2 to 3

Discover how they are

Biology

Description

It has a bluish colouring at the base of its neck, nape and breast, greenish on the dorsal, and black on wings and belly. The neck is featherless and the bare skin is red. It has highly characteristic white crest that stands straight up on its head. The females however are relatively different, especially their reddish necks and bellies, and the colouring of wings and dorsal, a brighter green with spotted red on flight feathers. It also has a crest, not as long as the male’s, which is a dark reddish brown.

Habitat

This species is endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo. It prefers tropical and subtropical rainforests up to 1200 metres high, although generally picking drier habitats at higher altitudes. However and due to the intensification of croplands and jungle destruction, it is increasingly more common among crops and artificial clearings created by deforestation.

Feeding

This species is eminently omnivore, with its food varying throughout the year depending on its availability and abundance.

Reproduction

The first young start to be spotted between January and February, suggesting that incubation must occur in September and October, with an approximate duration of 25 to 28 days, and laying two or three eggs. The nest-–generally located close to ground in a tree or bush—is constructed first by the female during laying season and first days of incubation, and then taken over by the male for the rest of the process.

Conduct

It is shy and solitary, although it is sometimes seen in small family groups or forming non-cooperative associations with other species, especially the Latham’s francolin, Peliperdix lathami.

Status and conservation programs

Due to loss of habitat and hunting, this species’ status is vulnerable, with an estimated population of under 10,000 individuals, and a sharp population decline that has led to its disappearance in many sites where it was once resident and breeding. The Antwerp Zoo keeps the European record (ESB) for the species, which had some hundred individuals in European zoos at the end of 2000.