The current status and distribution of the Vulnerable Reeves's pheasant Syrmaticus reevesii, endemic to central China, is poorly known. To obtain updated information on its status we selected 89 candidate sites in six provinces and one municipality in central China and conducted interviews and field surveys from April 2011 to April 2012. Interviews demonstrated the pheasant has disappeared from 46% of the surveyed sites. Our results also revealed a population decline at 46 sites, including protected areas, although population densities in protected areas were higher than those in non-protected areas. Eighty-three, 26 and 20% of the surveyed sites had evidence of poaching, habitat loss and use of poison, respectively, which were the three major threats to this species. To ensure the long-term survival of Reeves's pheasant in China, protection and management need to be enforced in both protected and non-protected areas. We recommend that this species should be upgraded to a national first-level protected species in China and recategorized as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.