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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

Species Code: PHCO

Click to enlarge Range map

= Core Habitat
= Marginal Habitat

Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only. The habitats were identified using 1991 satellite imagery, Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA), other datasets and experts throughout the state, as part of the Washington Gap Analysis Project. Habitats used during non-breeding months and migratory rest-stops were not mapped.

Metadata (Data about data or how the map was made)

Click to enlarge distribution map

Other maps & Information:
  • Breeding Bird Atlas
  • NatureMapping observations
    during breeding season
  • NatureMapping observations
    throughout the year

This species is common in open habitats at low elevations throughout the state. They are chiefly in agricultural areas, shrubby or weedy areas (including road medians), shrub-steppe, and grasslands, though they are probably not utilizing clearcuts in moist forests. This is one of the few species that thrives in the vast tracts of wheat fields in eastern Washington. This native of southeastern Asia was introduced for game hunting.

The core areas of use on the east side were all those up to and including the Interior Douglas-fir zone. The Grand fir zone was the peripheral area of use. Core areas of use on the west side were Sitka Spruce, Puget Sound Douglas-fir, Woodland/Prairie Mosaic, Cowlitz River, Willamette Valley, and Olympic Douglas-fir. Western Hemlock was the peripheral area of use. In the steppe, Ponderosa Pine and Oak zones, good habitats were low-density development, agriculture, steppe, forest openings, and open forest. In other core forest zones, good habitats were low-density development, agriculture, and forest openings. In the peripheral forest zones, only low-density development and agriculture were good.

The adaptability of the Ring-necked Pheasant allows it to thrive in a number of habitat types at lower elevations. Where it occurs and is common, it is a conspicuous member of the avifauna. Though this species is presumably self-sustaining throughout the modeled distribution, birds continue to be released. The first successful introduction of the species in the U.S., by Judge O. N. Denny, was in 1881 in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Judge Denny first introduced the Ring-necked Pheasant into Washington about 1883 in southeastern Washington, where it was formerly referred to as 'Denny Pheasant'. In some areas, the similar Japanese Pheasant has been released as well. On the south side of Fox Island, Japanese Pheasants have existed since their introduction in 1963.

Translated from the Washington Gap Analysis Bird Volume by Uchenna Bright
Text edited by Gussie Litwer
Webpage designed by Dave Lester