Green Junglefowl (Gallus Varius)

Green Junglefowl (Gallus Varius)

- in Aves (Bird), Endemic, Fauna

ITS–Ayam-hutan-hijauThe Green Junglefowl, Gallus varius also known as the Javan Junglefowl, Forktail or Green Javanese Junglefowl is a medium-sized (up to 75 cm long) bird in the pheasant family Phasianidae. The coloration of the Green Jungle fowl is sexually dichromatic. The male’s plumage is dark and black at a distance. A closer view will reveal an iridescent mantle of gleaming scales reminiscent in color and pattern to those seen in the Ocellated Turkey and Green Peafowl. Each scale is a vivid blue at its base and moves through various shades of gold and bronzed green. Specialized plumes framing the throat of the male Green Junglefowl are highly reflective to light and appear violet at the proximal and sky blue at the distal edges. Its lesser coverts of its wing are a striking burned orange with bronzed black centers. The distal edges of the greater secondary coverts are vivid ocher.

The Green Jungle fowl is found in Java, Bali, Lombok, Flores and small islands linking Java with Flores, Indonesia. It has been introduced to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands where there is a small wild population. It is found from a natural altitude of 0 – 2000 m in subtropical / tropical lowland moist forest, shrub land and arable land.

The Green Junglefowl usually lives in groups of two to five in the wild led by a dominant male, who takes the flock to feed and drink and then back into the cover of the forest. At night the flock roosts in bamboo stands at 15–20 feet above the forest floor. During the breeding season the dominant males in each flock are challenged by other males without flocks. The two males clap their wings and crow loudly while fighting.

The Green Jungle fowl is being maintained and increasingly bred in captivity as its genetic diversity is disappearing. This is because these birds are bred with domestic chickens by many people, producing a hybrid known as the Bekisar. The Bekisar has become very popular in the East Java province and has become the mascot bird of the area. Therefore, the Green Jungle fowl requires more protected conditions than chickens. However, it is known to be able to fly more strongly than chickens can.

The captive Green Jungle fowl requires warm aviaries with lots of foliage and cover due to their shy nature and are fed with grains and seeds, as well as fruit and insects as these are the same type of food they would feed on if in the wild. This bird has also been known for a long time as a pet because of its beauty and unique call.

The Green Jungle fowl is evaluated as a low Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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