• The Pallas’s ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus pallasi) is a subspecies of the common, or ring-necked, pheasant. The native range of this subspecies is southeast Siberia and northeast China. Like other common pheasants, they were intentionally introduced into Europe, North America, and other locations as game birds. This subspecies is currently found in captivity or in managed game lands in Europe, North America, and other locations around the world. They are crossbred with other species in captivity.

    Thanks to the intentional introduction of the common pheasant from its native Asia, it now occupies a wide range throughout the world, and it is found in a variety of habitats. In some areas where these birds were introduced, they could be considered invasive species based on their impact on native species. In its native Asia, the common pheasant is found in hilly areas and along the edges of rivers, as well as near farmlands. In the areas where it was introduced, it is typically found near farmlands. In the United States, these birds prefer different habitats at different times of the year, from forested wetlands in the spring and summer, to grassy areas along roadsides and ditches in the early nesting season. Later in the nesting season, they prefer nesting in hay fields.

    1. Invasive species are non-native species that cause or are likely to cause harm to their new ecosystem. What are some invasive species in your area? How are they affecting native populations?

      Answers will vary based on location. Some ways invasive species can affect native populations are by competing with them for resources, particularly where there are no natural predators to keep the new species in check, altering the environment in ways that make it less favorable for some native species, and preying on native species.

    2. The common pheasant was introduced into the United Kingdom as early as the 11th century. Do you think it could be considered an invasive species in the United Kingdom today? Why or why not?

      The answers could vary, but students should note that invasive species are not just non-native; they must also cause harm to their new ecosystem. Because they were introduced so long ago, it would be more difficult to determine how common pheasants affected other species when they were first introduced.

    3. The common pheasant was intentionally introduced into new ecosystems. However, some non-native species and invasive species can be introduced into new ecosystems accidentally. What are some ways this might happen?

      Non-native species can be introduced in many ways. Non-native aquatic species have been introduced through ballast water on ships. Species can also “hitchhike” on plants, animals, wood, or other items that travel between ecosystems.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    crossbreed Verb

    to produce or influence the production of an organism from organisms of two different breeds or varieties of the same species.

    habitat Noun

    environment where an organism lives throughout the year or for shorter periods of time.

    Encyclopedic Entry: habitat
    invasive species Noun

    type of plant or animal that is not indigenous to a particular area and causes economic or environmental harm.

    Encyclopedic Entry: invasive species
    species range Noun

    native, geographic area in which an organism can be found. Range also refers to the geographic distribution of a particular species.

    Encyclopedic Entry: species range
    subspecies Noun

    (subsp.) group of organisms within a single species, often distinguished by geographic isolation.