The Vietnamese or Vo Quy’s pheasant is a little-known pheasant with an alarmingly small distribution. The species was only discovered in 1964 and officially named in 1975, and is thought to be the rarest pheasant in captivity. It is closely related to Edward’s pheasant, also kept at Durrell in Jersey - the two species are very similar in appearance. Both species are seriously threatened in the wild by the relentless destruction of their forest habitat.
The Trust’s involvement in the captive breeding programme for the Vietnamese pheasant, initiated in 1990 by Hanoi Zoo, began with the arrival of three birds in 1999. In the spring of 2000 the first four chicks were successfully hatched and reared – extremely valuable additions to the ‘safety-net’ population for the species.