As many as 50 peacocks might lose their natural habitat in Gurgaon as the forest department has given permission to chop 70 trees for the construction of a court building near Rajiv Chowk.
The area that spreads across six acres is home to more than 50 peacocks and other birds. Although the national bird is found in abundance, there are no figures available about the number of peacocks in states, and no quality research is done to preserve their habitat. Peacocks are loosing their natural habitat because of rapid deforestation.
Experts say as peacocks are in the least endangered species category, they are ruled out of the government’s research bracket. However, in an era of urbanisation, early research would provide beneficial in the long term.
“Peacock habitats are being destroyed in the region. There is human invasion everywhere with towns expanding to forests, and their (peacocks’) natural territories are shrinking. Peacocks are ground birds, they need both tress and grass to survive,” Pankaj Gupta, a birder, said.
The proposed area is near the building of the forest department. Green activists said when the forest department has failed to protect its own backyard, how will it protect the Aravallis? “This shows the commitment of the department towards green cover and wildlife,” Amit Chaudhery, an environmentalist, said.
The forest department said the land belongs to the agriculture department and the construction of the court is a long-standing plan.
When HT enquired about the census report on the bird, Rambir Singh, conservator of wildlife, Gurgaon said, “There are no figures but peacocks are largely protected.”
He, however, said studies on peacock count would definitely help comparisons with earlier figures.
“Peacocks have a better chance of survival over the years and there’s a lot of cultural significance attached to this bird. However, this cultural connect is fading slowly and needs to be revived for peacocks to thrive in the country. The forest department has a breeding centre for peacocks in Jhabua in Rewari district,” Vibhu Prakash, director, Bombay Natural History Society, said.