Golden Pheasant
(Chrysolophus pictus)

Image required
Invasive Status
Introduced Population falling
Natural Range
  • South-central China
Introduced Range
  • United Kigndom
  • Hawaii

Hunting for sport

Aesthetic appeal


None known

Removal Methods


The golden pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) is a gamebird which has been locally introduced to parts of Great Briatin. 


Native RangeEdit

The golden pheasant is native to south-central China, in the provinces of Guizhou, Sichuan, Chongqing, extreme south Gansu, south-west Shaanxi, west Hubei, north-west Hunan, north Guangxi and extreme north-east Yunnan. [1]

Introduced RangeEdit

The golden pheasant has been introduced in several places in the United Kingdom. It is present on the central-south coast, central and north Norfolk, the Isle of Anglesey, south-east Scoltand and the Isle of Mull. [1] The birds are also present in small numbers on Tresco in the Scilly Isles. [2] Whether these British populations are self-sustaining or not is up for debate. Population totals vary from 1000 or 2000 [1] to less than 200 [3] and these numbers may be falling. [2]

The golden pheasant may also have been introduced to and may have bred on the island of Muai in Hawaii, in the regions of the Waikamoi Preserve and, more recently, Hanawi Natural Area Reserve and Haleakala National Park. [4]

Pathways and IntroductionEdit

The first records of the golden pheasant in the UK are from Norfolk before 1880. The first releases were probably in the 1840s, though golden pheasants have been kept in Great Britain since 1725. [5] The frist breeding records are from Norfolk or Suffolk in the 1970s. [6]

Some releases were for shooting and hunting purposes for sport, although some may have been simply due to the appeal of having such an aesthetically pleasing bird living wild in the United Kingdom. [6]

In Hawaii, it is thought that birds were freed in Waikamoi Preserve, from which the species has spread. The date of the release is not known, although the population was first discovered in 1996. [3]


The are no known impacts of the presence of golden pheasants.^ They eat leaves and buds [3] , so they may damage plants and compete with native species living in similar niches, although their current population is small so their impacts will be too.

Control and Removal MethodsEdit

No control or removal methods are currently in place to deal with introduced golden pheasant populations.


1 BirdLife International


3 Royal Soceity for the Protection of Bird

4 BioOne: "First Successful Introduction of the Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) to the United States"

5 GB Non-Natives Factsheet Editor

6 British Trust for Ornithology