A thing of beauty, they say, is joy forever.
But the peacock population in Delhi may not last that long.
Concerned over the dwindling nesting places of the national bird—which might lead to decline in their population—the Delhi government has undertaken a survey on the pecock.
The survey would find out the numbers of the birds, sustainable nesting areas and other things that affect their breeding like human interaction.
The idea of the survey hatched with a few mislaid eggs.
At Lodhi Gardens peahens were found laying their eggs at a height instead of near the ground, as is their usual habit.
“Their natural habitat is being replaced by manicured lawns,” said World Phesant Association (WPA)-India Chapter president Samr Singh.
“Where will these birds find food? Moreover, due to predators the parks are not safe enough - neither for the eggs nor for the chicks.”
The WPA-India is carrying out the pilot project 'Field Study of Indian Peafowl in selected parks of Delhi' for the government.
The NGO, along with the NDMC, had been instrumental in taking steps for protection of the national bird at the Lodi Garden by building a netted enclosure as close to a natural habitat as possible.
The study that will continue till November 2009 is being undertaken at four big parks - Jahapanah Park; Hauz Khas Deer Park; Lodi Garden & Mausam Bhavan and Nehru Park - and as a special study Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's official residence on Motilal Nehru Marg.
Dr M Shah Hussain, an investigator undertaking the study, said, "So far, there has been no population estimates of peafowl in these parks. Along with studying both human and peafowl behaviour, we are also studying park ecology."