Since 2000 conservationists have not been able to confirm any sightings of Edwards pheasants in the wild. Therefore, it is thought that they may be extinct in the wild. There are approximately 1000 individuals living in captivity, with extensive breeding programmes in place to ensure that reintroductions can occur in the future.
Threats to wild Edwards Pheasants are continued habitat degradation and loss. Most of Vietnam’s primary forests have been destroyed due to the use of the herbicide, Agent Orange, that was used as a weapon, during the Vietnam War. Forests continue to be degraded by the logging industry and areas being stripped to make way for agriculture.
Emerald Park conservation contribution:
Edwards pheasants are part of the EAZA Ex-situ Programme (EEP). This which means that their population is managed to ensure that there are heathy populations of animals within EAZA member zoos and for reintroduction in the future.