Dying peacocks: time to act

Published May 10, 2013 09:30am

THIS is about the report (May 1) in a section of the press regarding the death of three more peacocks near Nagarparkar (May 1).

A peacock is considered a scared bird and the beauty of the desert of Tharparkar, where people regard it as a family member.

They feed and protect peacocks from hot weather and also keep bowls in their homes where peacocks quench their thirst.

Last year, when Newcastle disease virus (NDV) killed more than 300 (as reported in the media, but villagers said the number was more than what was reported) peacocks in different parts of Tharparkar, villagers and civil society protested, but authorities did not take it seriously. This resulted in more deaths.

This was the apathy of the authorities which didn’t take steps to save the bird.

Now more than 15 peacocks have died and several others are suffering from disease in Tharparkar. The symptoms are similar to the disease reported last year.

This disease in birds spreads in hot season every year. The villagers fear that the disease could spread and infect more birds this year if timely action is not taken.

According to a rough estimate, there are more than 40,000 wild peacocks in Tharparkar but their number is declining because of poaching and lack of effective conservation.

The wild peacock also faces intense heat, unavailability of water and food which also results in the outbreak of disease.

The authorities concerned should take serious actions to stop this expected outbreak of disease in peacock this year to save the beauty of Tharparkar.

MUKESH RAJA Mithi, Tharparkar

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