Evolution and Status
The Grey Junglefowl is found mostly in Peninsular India, while the Red Junglefowl is found more along the foothills of the Himalayas. A region of overlap occurs in the Aravalli range. The species has been isolated by a variety of mechanisms including behavioural differences and genic incompatibility but hybridization is not unknown. Some phylogenetic studies of Junglefowl show that this species is more closely related to the Ceylon Junglefowl Gallus lafayetii than to the Red Junglefowl, Gallus gallus but another study shows a more ambiguous position due to hybridization. An endogenous retroviral DNA sequence, of the EAV-HP group noted in domestic fowl is also found in the genome of this species pointing to the early integration of the virus DNA into the genome of Gallus.
A study in southern India found a density of 19.8 groups per square kilometer (but ranging from 1.67 to 34.42 in dry deciduous forests on plains) with an average group size of 1.3. The male to female ratio was 1:1.2 and the preferred habitat was low to moderate canopied forest with low or no grass cover.
They are threatened by hunting for food and habitat loss. Feather use in fly-fishing has also been suggested as a threat.
Read more about this topic: Grey Junglefowl
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