Status of the Indian Peafowl in India

posted in: Conservation, Species | 0
Male Indian Peafowl courting female
Male Indian Peafowl courting female – YC Wee

The Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus), the National Bird of India, is a resident breeder across the Indian subcontinent. In many parts of northern India, it is regarded as sacred. It is also a protected species, found in scrub, forest edges and open areas. According to IUCN’s Red List, the peafowl is a Least Concern species.

Rear view of Male Indian Peafowl - YC Wee
Rear view of Male Indian Peafowl – YC Wee

Threats to the species come from poachers who kill the birds for the meat and feathers LINK. Conflict with farmers is another threat as they are considered a nuisance to agricultural crops. Finally there is the problem of habitat loss.

Male Peafowl on a tree branch - YC Wee
Male Indian Peafowl perching on a tree – YC Wee

“Thanks to strict wildlife conservation laws in India, peafowls have now become common across the country and are often found foraging around villages and towns,” wrote S Devasahayam. “In bustling cities like Delhi they even nest in porches and terraces of buildings. In fact in some states like Goa, there was a proposal to term them as ‘vermin’ along with monkeys and wild boars due to the damage they cause to farm crops.”

Male Indian Peafowl and its  train of feathers - YC Wee
Male Indian Peafowl and its tail coverts – YC Wee

S Devasahayam & YC Wee
India-Singapore
20th December 2016

References:
1.
Madge, S. & P. McGowan (2002). Pheasants, Partridges and Grouse, Including Buttonquails, Sandgrouse and Allies. Helm Identification Guides, Christopher Helm, London, 488pp.
2. Ramesh, K.; McGowan, P. (2009). “On the current status of Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus (Aves: Galliformes: Phasianidae): keeping the common species common” (PDF). Journal of Threatened Taxa. 1 (2): 106–108.

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