Peacock’s population on decline

Peacock’s population on decline

Peacock’s Population On Decline. Zoologists claim that the city’s population is conducive for peacocks to thrive. Yet the population of the national bird has reduced from 4,600 to 3,196 in just five years.

Hyderabad has no place for the national bird

Peacock.Zoologists claim that the city’s population is conducive for peacocks to thrive. Yet the population of the national bird has reduced from 4,600 to 3,196 in just five years. These birds are falling prey to poachers, who are minting money. Apart from them, poisonous seeds and lack of water at protected forests are becoming the causes for decline in its population.

It is believed that the city’s climate is conducive for peacocks and that its population is thriving. Many reports have been published saying that from 2005, the peacock population has been increasing by 10 per cent annually. However that isn’t the case. In a recent survey by the forest department, there used to be 4,600 peacocks in 2009 and the numbers plummeted to 3,575 in 2011. This has further decreased further to 3,196 at present.

According to a survey done by the forest department officials in 2009, the city used to have 19 kms of forest area. As this area was being encroached, peacocks living in this area started moving towards adjoining villages only to fall prey to poachers who hunt down the national animal for its feathers and exotic meat.

Though forest department officials claim to take all possible measures to ensure that the forest land is not encroached upon and the population of peacocks remains intact, the ground reality is ironic.

Hubs like KBR Park, Osmania University and University of Hyderabad (UoH) in the heart of the city and protected forests like Harini Vanasthalipuram, Tatti Annaram and Chilukuru Park, etc are thriving grounds for peacocks. But the population at these places is gradually decreasing. Zoologists say that most of the peacock deaths occur in summer when there is dearth of water.

It costs up to Rs 1 lakh to construct water sumps and apart from Harini Vanasthalipuram and Chilukuru Park, other places don’t have dedicated water sumps for the animals. “We do not have permission to construct water sumps in other protected forests,” informs Ashok Kumar, curator, Hyderabad National Parks.

“Apart from the deaths in summer, peacocks die during seed sowing time. Peacocks come to eat these seeds. When it’s consumed in large quantities, it acts as an anesthetic to the peacocks, which is fatal to the bird,” informs Marreddy, inspector, Harini Vanasthalipuram.

The biggest threat to the bird are the poachers. There is a growing demand for peacock’s meat and reportedly poachers are bribed handsomely to procure the meat. Animal activists blame inaction on the part of the forest department officials in curbing the activities. Refuting these charges, Nagabhushanam, deputy forest officer, Rangareddy (rural), said, “We have constituted an anti-poaching squad to protect peacocks in forests. We are taking stringent action on the poachers.”

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