From the time the news of five dead peacocks found in Rajasthan made its way to the public domain, the state forest department officials warn the national birds are coming under increasing threat from poachers and farmers.
The day after the horrific discovery in the Bundi district came out, the senior wildlife officials descended on the spot to conduct raids in surrounding area in a bid to nab the alleges poachers.
With 200 peacocks reportedly killed in 2016, Bundi district tops the list in poaching of the national bird in Rajasthan.
In the latest incident, where the necks of all the birds were found to be broken, poaching may not be the motive behind the carnage, wildlife officials camping at the spot told Mail Today.
“The bird dies due to injury in their neck, by twisting the windpipe. And not by any another means” said Rameshwar Chandolia, range officer, state forest department, who found the bodies after a tip off.
The search for the alleged culprits is underway, he said.
Wildlife experts in the state say that the killing of the bird is rampant as not only poachers but farmers too are feeding them with pesticides to keep them away from the cultivable areas and prevent damage to their crops.
‘It is found that during seed sowing season farmers generally put pesticide which peacocks feed and get killed. There are certain traditional communities which are also engaged in poaching of birds and Bundi is worst hit when it comes to killing of peacocks,’ additional principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) GV Reddy told Mail Today.
Reddy said the killing of national birds is not limited to one state as the birds are in danger across India.
According to a study conducted by TRAFFIC, an arm of WWF, Tamil Nadu is the third major source of peacock plumes in the country after Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Data collected from 20 states over two years by a TRAFFIC team reveals that an aggregate of 25.71 crore bunches of feathers were found in godowns in Rajasthan, 3 crore in Gujarat and 2 lakh in Tamil Nadu.
Agra and Rajasthan are the major suppliers of peacock feathers to Tamil Nadu and West Bengal while Odisha is the biggest buyer of such feathers.