Beautiful Bird Himalayan Monal Is Endangered: How to save?

Himalayan Monal (Danfe)

Himalayan Monal (Danfe): The national bird of Nepal

One of the most beautiful and big birds on earth, The Himalayan Monal is also the national bird of Nepal. This bird is called Danfe or Dafe, which is somewhere called Danphe or Daphe in Nepal. In a scientific context, it is called Impeyan monal or Impeyan pheasant and Lophophorus impedance.

The sad fact regarding the Himalayan Monal (Danfe) bird is that the number of it is continuously decreasing.

If, unfortunately, this beautiful bird becomes extinct from this earth forever, then mankind would have lost a precious animal of the earth, and the nation of Nepal would have lost one of the pride of its country.

Therefore, now the time has come for bird-loving earthlings to think seriously about this issue.

Here, we discuss the following significant topics about the Himalayan monal (Danfe) :

  • Why is Himalayan Monal (Danfe) on the endangered list?
  • What are the risk factors for it in Nepal?
  • What strategies have the Government of Nepal and the private sector adopted to save Himalayan Monal (Danphe)?
  • How many Himalayan Monal (Danfe) populations remain in Nepal?
  • Is the Himalayan Monal (Danphe) bird found in countries other than Nepal?
  • What does this bird eat, and where does it like to live?
  • Also, what was the reason that the Himalayan Monal (Danfe) was declared as the national bird of Nepal?

These questions will inform us of many interesting facts about the Himalayan Monal (Danfe) bird. Please keep reading ahead.

Himalayan Monal (Danfe) is one of the most beautiful and largest birds in the world

The Himalayan Monal (Danfe) is also known as one of the largest birds in the world. Also, this bird is one of the most beautiful birds in the world. Because its body is colored with all the major colors of nature, this bird is the most beautiful natural gift for the Himalayan region.

Why is Danfe called a big bird?

The Danfe is a big bird because the length of the adult Danfe bird from tail to head is more than two feet. The weight of the male Danfe is about 2 and a half kilos, and the weight of the female Danfe is slightly less, but it also weighs around 2 kg.

Himalayan Monal Danfe
Himalayan Monal, Male” by Koshyk is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Thus, expressing concern over the fact that the world’s most beautiful gem is endangered, this article has been prepared in the tragic context of this bird.

Habitation Of Himalayan monal (Danfe)

The Himalayan pheasant (Danfe) is a large species native to the Himalayan region. In the summer, this bird goes up to 4500 meters above sea level, and when the snow starts, it comes down to 2000 meters, where Rhododendron (Guarash) flowers bloom.

These birds also like to live in the rocky, steep areas and grasslands of the hilly terrain of the Himalayas

However, the Himalayan Monal (Danphe) is mainly known as a bird living in the temperate evergreen corner forests of the Himalayan region up to 2700-3700 meters.

Are the Himalayan Pheasant (Danfe) and Crimson Horned Pheasant (Munal) the same bird? No!

The Danfe (Himalayan Pheasant) and Munal (Crimson Horned Pheasant) are words often heard in Nepali social art and literature. But there are some misconceptions about these two birds. Danphe and ‘Munal’ are not birds of the same species. It is also not true that the male is called Danfe, and the female is called Munal.

some linguistic ambiguity

The mysterious reason for adding ‘Munal’ to the word Danfe in Nepal is that Danfe is called ‘Himalayan Monal’ in English. Therefore, if the Himalayan Monal is written in English or spoken, then it should be understood as the Danfe bird (Himalayan Pheasant).

In Nepali words and context, if Munal is written or spoken, then it should be understood as a Nepali Munal bird (Crimson Horned Pheasant).

This may be a case of some linguistic ambiguity or confusion, but there are other reasons why the names of Danfe and Munal are taken together in Nepal. Because both these birds live in the Himalayan region, their size, lifestyle, and speech are similar. That is why these two words, Danfe and Munal, are found together in the national songs of Nepal and many other folk songs.

The main difference between the Danfe and Munal is that the Danfe has crests on its head. Whereas the Nepalese Monal does not have crests on its head, there is also a lot of difference in the color of these two birds.

The male Danfe (Himalayan Monal or Pheasant) bird is like this:

And the female Danfe (Himalayan Monal or Pheasant) bird is like this:

Female Danfe (Himalayan Monal)
File: Himalayan Monal Adult Female Tungnath Rudraprayag Uttarakhand India 14.06.2013.jpg” by Dibyendu Ash is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Nepali called Munal (Crimson Horned Pheasant) bird is like this:

While the Nepali Munal bird (Crimson Horned Pheasant)
Crimson-horned pheasant” by Greyloch is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

How to Identify Male And Female Of Himalayan Monal (Danfe)

The Himalayan Monal (Danphe) is not called the most beautiful bird in the world for no reason because its body is full of feathers like a seven-coloured rainbow. That is why the male Danfe looks more attractive than the female.

The color of their feathers can easily identify males and females. The male’s color is a mixture of bright green, blue, copper, and purple, with a white spot and an ochre-grey tail.

The female’s throat is white, the grey body has a thick vertical full-sized stripe at the bottom, and the white color is hidden in the upper part of the tail, which is visible when the female flies.

Is Himalayan Monal (Danfe) available only in Nepal? No !!

The main habitat of the Danfe bird in the world is from West Pakistan to West North India, Nepal, Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan to Burma or Myanmar. In other words, Danfe is found in the Greater Himalayan region of the Hind Kush mountain range.

However, it is said that Danfe species are found more in Nepal, India, and Pakistan than in Tibet, Bhutan, and Myanmar. Recently, there has been news of another new species of Danfe being found in Arunachal Pradesh, India.

Danfe is not only the national bird of Nepal but also the state bird of Uttarakhand in India. Like Nepal, Himalayan Monal is called Danfe in the local language of Uttarakhand.

In Nepal, the Danfe bird is mostly seen in all protected areas of the Himalayas, Makalu Barun, Everest, Langtang, Shey Phoksundo, Khaptad, and Rara National Park. This bird can also be seen in small numbers in the Dhorpatan Hunting Sanctuary, Kanchenjunga, Gauri Shankar, Manaslu, Annapurna, and AP Nampa Conservation Areas.

Danfe’s temperament, conduct, and eating habits

The Himalayan Monal (Danfe) bird is quiet and shy like a pigeon.
This bird prefers to run away from someone instead of fighting with anyone.
This bird does not like noise. Rather, it is nice to live in this secluded place. But Danfe prefers to live in a group because this bird is timid.

Danfes mostly live in temperate oak and coniferous forests because this is where they can find suitable food. The Danphe bird prefers to live in the Himalayan region’s rocky slopes, plane grasslands, and steep grasslands. Because they need a cold area to live, it is necessary to have a mountain with a height of 2400 and 4500 meters above sea level.

During breeding season or when in danger, Danfes can make various calls. These sounds are used to call the pair or signal danger to mates. Male Danfe usually live together in groups of 2-3.

During the breeding season, the male determines his territory and may show slightly aggressive behavior towards other male intruders. Female Danfes are sociable and live in groups of 15-20 during winter.

Unique behavior of digging the ground

Himalayan Monal (Danfe) can dig up to a foot deep into the ground with their beaks and claws to find their favorite food and lay eggs. That is why Danfe is also known as the digging bird.
If the bird wishes, it stays in the dug hole or some secluded place for several hours. That is why it is a bird with a unique nature. But still, if it hears even a little human noise or senses any wild animal, then this bird makes a sound and runs away in fear.

What is the diet of the Himalayan monal (Danfe) bird?

Daphne is known as an omnivorous bird. This bird eats the roots of its favorite plants, some insects from below the ground, grass seeds above the ground, flowers, fruits, leaves, moss, etc.

Reproductive function

The breeding time of Himalayan monal (Danfe) is usually around the spring season or April to May. This bird spends the whole day screaming for a mate during the breeding season.
Although males and females mate with multiple mates during the breeding season, they choose one partner to form a pair and stay together until the young grow up. During the spring season, Danfe birds also dance to please the couple.

After breeding, the female lays 3 to 5 eggs at a time. It has been found that the female Danfe usually lays eggs by digging a little ground or making a small space on the rocky slopes or a hole in a tree.

After laying the eggs, the female danfe remains in the womb for about 27 days, and during that period, the male danfe protects the female danfe.
Danfes babies become independent after 6 months and are ready to breed after about 2 years.
Generally, the Himalayan monal (Danfe) bird’s lifespan is 8 to 10 years.

Himalayan Monal Danfe
Sudeley Castle & Gardens – Pheasantry – Himalayan Monal – sign” by ell brown is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Why is the Himalayan monal (Danfe) bird in crisis?

Our main topic was how and why the Danfe bird reached a crisis.

Let us discuss whether Danfe is in danger today, how it is, and what Nepalese and related agencies can do about it.

It is said that only 3,000 to 5,000 Himalayan monal (Danfe) birds remain all over the Himalayan forests of Nepal from East Mechi to West Mahakali.

Despite the many national parks in Nepal, the number of birds being so low, or only four to five thousand, is not a good sign in any case.

That is why this bird has been kept on the list of endangered birds in Nepal.
On the other hand, the Himalayan monal (Danfe) is listed as the least Concerned in the international list of IUCN, but in the local list of Nepal, this bird is listed as near endangered.

This includes, as per the International Convention on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Danfe bird is not allowed to be poached or kept at home. Meanwhile, a law providing severe punishment to those who hunt Danfe has also been implemented in Nepal.

Despite all this, bird experts say that the daily Danfe is being hunted, and its numbers continuously decrease.

Himalayan monal (Danfe) is not listed as endangered in Pakistan because Danfe is not hunted there. Similarly, in Uttarakhand, India, this bird is named state bird and is kept with great respect.

But in Nepal, It is unfortunate that Nepal’s national bird continues to be victimized by such poachers.

Risk factors

It is said that this bird population has reached a very sensitive situation because, along with the flesh of the dance, its beautiful crest and seven-coloured feathers are also very beautiful.

The large size of the Danfe’s body became a curse for him because hunters had taken the life of Nepal’s national bird for about two kilos of meat from its body, which is a very sad thing.

In the past, some of the traditions of Nepali tribes were decorating caps, wearing them in cultural programs, and decorating bows and arrows with feathers of the Danfe bird. With time, due to the expansion of education and awareness and legal restrictions, these activities have declined. There has been a lot of reduction.

This fact has recently come to light, especially because uneducated and unscrupulous Himalayan shepherds are preying on the national bird.

Especially when there is snowfall, this bird goes very low, or up to 2000 meters in height, to escape the cold, but it is a misfortune that it has to die at the same time from hunters or shepherds.

Secondly, this bird is very shy and fearful and quickly runs away.
When it suddenly sees an animal or a tourist near its residence or hears a loud noise, it runs away in a hurry, and in some cases, it even happens in panic, collides with trees or mountains, then gets injured and dies.

Apart from this, it is said that large-scale hydroelectric and road construction projects in the Himalayan region are also disturbing the habitat of the Himalayan monal (Danfe).

In addition, the number of these birds is decreasing due to the destruction of forests and increased tourist activities in the Himalayan region.

Preventive measures and legal punishment.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is an International Network for the Protection of Animals that has placed Himalayan monal (Danfe) in the Least Vulnerable state. While at the national level, it has been placed in the Near Vulnerable category. Similarly, according to the International Convention on Sites, this bird has been placed in Schedule 1.
Nepal’s national park management agencies are understood to be trying their best to stop poaching. Additionally, efforts have been made to prevent poaching by creating public awareness among villagers in the areas where Danfes are available.

According to the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, 2029 of Nepal, the danfe is a protected bird of Nepal. Therefore, according to that law, it is considered illegal to harm, kill, and collect their eggs.

Protected Area Of Nepal
Source: as mentioned in the picture.

Therefore, there is also a provision to punish the culprit who commits such an act with a fine of Rs 15,000-30,000 or a jail term of 3-9 months or both.
Nevertheless, it is unfortunate that poaching and trapping have not stopped.

Necessity of special & effective policy and program

Since the Himalayan monal (Danfe) is an animal that can live only in the Himalayan regions, it would be impossible to increase the population by bringing it to the lower hilly areas and making it a pet bird. Still, in the future, the government should declare the densely populated area of Danfes as the ‘Danfe zone’, develop this area as a special pocket area, and implement the Danfe Development Scheme there.

No achievement can be achieved just by making laws. The most important thing is to find the root of the problem. And its solution should be found.

It has become necessary to find a scientific plan to increase the population of Danfe. Considering the possibility, it is necessary to adopt such scientific methods so that the population of this bird can be increased by establishing a Danfe conservation network or breeding centers in such Himalayan areas.

Civil intelligence should be deployed in areas where Himalayan monal (Danfe) are likely to be hunted, which will help in the easy detection of poachers. Apart from this, contributions to the conservation of Danfe can also be made by opening various private-level institutions, including Danfe conservation clubs in the nearby villages of the Himalayan region.

It is necessary to run a comprehensive campaign from both government institutions and the public level. Only then will the goal of saving the Danfe bird be accomplished.

Female, Himalayan Monal, Danfe
HIMALAYAN MONAL PHEASANT” by cuatrok77 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Why was the Himalayan Monal (Danfe) chosen as the national bird of Nepal?

It may be an interesting question for many of us why the Himalayan monal (Danfe) was chosen as the national bird of Nepal at that time.

In this query, the answers of the related persons are as follows:

Himalayan monal (Danfe) is the national bird of Nepal because many of the characteristics of Daphne suit the nature of the people of Nepal. The variety of colors on Danfe’s body reflects Nepal’s multi-ethnic, multilingual, and multi-religious cultural characteristics.

Dafes are often found in groups without quarrels, conveying that even though there are so many different castes in Nepal and so much diversity in culture, there is still good unity among the people.

Like the Nepalese people, the Danfes are also very peaceful and friendly. Nepalese have a custom of treating foreign guests as gods. Similarly, Dafe also reflects a welcoming nature. This bird does not behave aggressively towards any animal in its area under any circumstances.

Similarly, the way this bird starts dancing when it is happy, just like the people of Nepal celebrate by dancing and singing on any special happy occasion.

This bird is probably the most beautiful and largest bird found in Nepal. It is a tribal bird that is more concentrated in the Himalayan region of Nepal than anywhere else in the world; for these various reasons, the Himalayan Monal (Danfe) has been declared the national bird of Nepal.


Lastly, we humbly request everyone to come together to protect the Danfe, which is considered one of the most beautiful birds in the world and a natural gift of the Himalayan region and the pride of us earthlings.

Protect nature for future generations also. live and let live !!

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May all your moments be blissful. Namaste !!

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