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President's Estate home to peacocks

delhi Updated: Jul 26, 2010 00:51 IST
Nivedita Khandekar
Nivedita Khandekar
Hindustan Times
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There are more than 100 peafowls in the President's Estate and the sprawling campus has the capacity to sustain almost double the numbers, a study has found out.

There are 104 blue peafowls (Pavo cristatus) — commonly known as peacocks — at the President's Estate, located right next to a natural habitat of the central ridge, inside the President's Estate. The information was given in a report ‘Field Study on the National Bird in the President's Estate' released on Sunday.

The World Pheasant Association- India (WPA-India) was asked to carry out the study to assess the population size, structure and overall current status, including habitat, for the national bird in the President's Estate.

The study — conducted from December 2008 to November 2009 — also focused on the carrying capacity of the Rashtrapati Bhavan's eco-system, potential threats to the species and steps to prevent it.

Carrying capacity refers to any population size of species that the environment can sustain indefinitely.

Some disturbance factors are jeopardising the successful nesting of peafowl in the President's Estate.The President's Estate eco-system can support almost double the number of the present peafowl population if the recommendations are implemented, the study stated.

The important recommendations of the study are: Keeping intact as a continuous block the semi-forest type habitat and avoid buildings as barriers; plantation of more bamboo thickets for providing more nesting sites; plantation of more native trees and shrubs rather than ornamental trees; minimise vehicle movement inside the Nature Trail and ridge area; immediate stopping of collection of fire wood from the ridge area as it affects the whole bio-diversity, and increasing awareness.

Apart from implementing the steps recommended in the study, said Samar Singh, President WPA-India, "The foremost thing to do is that everybody inside the President's Estate need to be sensitive to the requirement, especially the labourers and gardeners."