From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Indian Peafowl
Mains level : Wildlife conservation and various policy efforts
This newscard is an excerpt from the original article published in the D2E.
Try this PYQ:
Q.Which one of the following is the national aquatic animal of India? (CSP 2015)
(a) Saltwater crocodile
(b) Olive ridley turtle
(c) Gangetic dolphin
- The Indian peafowl is a native of India and some parts of Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
- The Arakan hills prevented their spread further east while the Himalayas and the Karakoram did so northwards.
- As our national bird, the peacock has the utmost level of legal protection.
Peacock vs. Peafowl
- Only the males of the species are peacocks.
- The females are properly called peahens, while young birds less than a year old are known as peachicks.
- Collectively they are known as peafowl, regardless of age or gender.
- Peacocks are male Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus) belonging to the Phasianidae family
- It comes under Section 51 (1-A) of Schedule I of the Wild (Life) (Protection) Act, 1972, with imprisonment that may be extended up to seven years, along with a fine that shall not be less than Rs 10,000.
- Since 2014, Indian Peafowl has been protected under Appendix III of the CITES.
- They are listed under the ‘Least Concern’ (LC) category of the IUCN Red Data List.
- Despite this, these birds experienced dwindling populations for many decades due to habitat loss, poaching and contamination of their food sources.
- In 1991, the peafowl population census conducted by the WWF revealed that 50 per cent of the species had declined, compared to their number at the time of independence.