Recently, a man was hit by a peafowl in Kerala after which he died. This incident has turned the spotlight on the increasing population of Indian peafowls in the state.

Important points:

  • The collective name for peacocks is peafowl. The male of the variety is called a peacock and the female peafowl is called a peahen.
  • The Indian peacock is also the National Bird of India.
  • Peafowl (Pavocristatus) belongs to the Phasianidae family. They are among the largest of all birds that fly.
  • Phasianidae is the pheasant family, a bird family that includes among its members the jungle fowl (from which the domestic chicken is descended), partridge, peacock, pheasant, and quail.

The two most-recognizable species of peafowl are:

  • The blue, or Indian, peacock of India and Sri Lanka.
  • The green or Javanese, peacock (P. muticus) found from Myanmar (Burma) to Java.
  • The Indian peafowl is a native of India and some parts of Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • The species are currently habituated more in central Kerala, followed by southeast and northwest parts of the state.
  • At least 19% of the states’ area is suitable habitat for this species and this may increase by 40-50% by 2050.
  • They are well adapted to living in forest edges and cultivated areas.
  • They are a threat to paddy farmers in Kerala. They destroy its seeds and cause man-animal conflict.
  • Agriculture expansion and deforestation have caused other species to ‘invade human territory’.
  • The growing population of peafowls signals climate change. They are known to grow and thrive in dry conditions.


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