McGowan, P. & Fuller, R.A. 2006. Is the current protected area system adequate to support viable populations of forest Galliformes in eastern Asia? Acta Zoologica Sinica, 52, 196–198.
The Galliformes are one of the most threatened of avian orders; more than 25% of their species are considered at risk of extinction compared with 11% of all birds. Direct exploitation is believed to be the main reason for this substantially higher level of endangerment. Using additional and recently collected locality data from east Asian protected areas, analysis here revises an earlier study in 1999 that assessed the degree to which the existing protected area network in eastern Asia covered the 101 species of grouse, partridges and pheasants endemic to that region. A network of important protected areas is identified that secures each species in a minimum of three protected areas, our preset target. China and India are key countries in this network, and Malaysia and Indonesia are important for Sundaic tropical forest species. Many of the protected areas are irreplaceable because they alone contain the most under-represented species. Indeed, some species, including some of the region’s most threatened Galliformes, occur entirely outside protected areas or in just one or two, such as the Sichuan hill partridge and Edwards’ and Vietnamese pheasants in central Vietnam. Although the present network is likely to prove crucial for the survival of these species, it is not sufficient on its own because of shortcomings in species representation, the size of individual protected areas, and their connectivity.