The peacock, India's national bird, is not safe in Rajasthan anymore with as many as 10 of the birds being killed daily in the state, an animal protection group has said.
People for Animals says that the state government has so far failed to arrest the increasing death toll of peacocks.
According to Babulal Jajoo, convener of the organisation, about 36 villages in 14 districts of Rajasthan are emerging as the most dangerous for the peacocks. The birds are killed by poachers for their feathers or by tribals for the meat, he said.
"Maximum deaths are taking place in the Ajmer, Bhilwara, Chittorgarh and Shekhawati belt of the state. About 250 peacocks have reportedly been killed in these places in the last four months," Jajoo said.
The animal protection group claims that most peacock killings go unreported. Recently, 22 peacocks were killed in Sarwada town of Ajmer district. Similarly, nine peacocks were killed in Dabal village of Bhilwara district.
Most of the times, poaching of the national bird takes place outside the forest areas and forest officials are reluctant to probe the matter, he said.
He alleged that tribal people usually kill peacocks for the meat. The high value of the male peacock feather in international markets is also responsible for the frequent killings by poachers.
Expressing concern over the increased killing of peacocks, Rajasthan Forest Minister LN Dave said: "We are taking steps to stop the killings."