With as much hybridisation in captivity as in the wild, both between pure and domestic stock and between the five subspecies, a studbook has now been developed and many breeders are having their birds' DNA tested for purity (8). The World Pheasant Association is also undertaking extensive DNA research, but sadly virtually all the birds in captivity in Europe have been found to display hybridised genes (10). It seems that its domestic descendents will be the undoing of this unique wild bird, which has been quietly slipping into genetic extinction, before the world was even aware of, and could appropriately respond to, the situation (7). In the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, where local people appear never to have allowed free roaming domestic poultry, due to high numbers of predators such as leopards (panthera pardus) and leopard cats (felis bengalensis), junglefowl that retain traditional morphology continue to exist and are currently the subject of considerable research (10).
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