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.
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.
“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.”
S Devasahayam & YC Wee
20th December 2016
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.