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Peacocks face big threat in Rajasthan.

THE national bird is on the brink of extinction in Rajasthan due to the alarming rise in peacock poaching, conservationists say.

In the last five months, 32 cases of killing 310 peacocks have been registered with the state police. In Bhilwarabased Mewar Mill campus alone, 23 peacocks were found dead in two separate incidents in the past fortnight.

Babulal Jaju, the state chief of the People for Animals, an NGO headed by Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi, claimed that, on an average, 10 peacocks are killed every day in Rajasthan.

The peacock is also listed in Schedule- I of the Wildlife ( Protection) Act, 1972, with the highest degree of protection.

Killing a peacock is strictly prohibited and as per Section 51( 1- A), it attracts imprisonment that may extend to seven years and a fine not less than ` 10,000.

The main reason for their deaths has been attributed to poisoning, according to postmortem of peacocks killed in rural areas of the state.

Rajasthan's chief conservator of forests V. S. Vohra told M AIL T ODAY that comprehensive reports on peacock deaths during the past three years were sought from various district forest offices to work out a strategy to address the situation.

He maintained that incidents of the bird's death increased during the sowing season mainly due to pesticides and poisonous grains. Though the farmers were educated to take precautionary measures, it seemed to have limited impact, he said.

Activist Jaju asserted that as the central law didn't ban trade of peacock feathers, it had encouraged illegal poaching of the bird.

Moreover, in certain sections of the society peacocks were also targeted for their fat and meat, which was mistaken by some as a cure for arthritis.

Poisoning main cause of birds' deaths

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Dec 2, 2014
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