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Poachers kill 12 peacocks in Nagaur, forest dept launches manhunt

As the forest department personnel did not find any feathers it is suspected that the feathers were sold to the middlemen. 

jaipur Updated: Oct 16, 2017 19:11 IST
Manoj Ahuja
Manoj Ahuja
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan,Jaipur,peacock
Rajasthan has earned notoriety for the poaching of the national bird, with the poaching rampant in Bundi, Bharatpur, Ajmer and Nagaur districts. (PTI)

JAIPUR: Discovery of 12 dead peacocks in a village in Nagaur district of Rajasthan has stunned the forest department officials who have taken the help of local police to nab the poachers. The bodies of the peacocks that were poisoned to death were found on Sunday evening near the fields in village Mundra.

“So far we have found bodies of 12 peacocks. Investigations have revealed that some people belonging to nomadic tribe of Bawaria have poisoned the peacocks for consuming its meat,” Naguar DCF Ved Prakash Gurjar told HT. Gachhipura police has registered an FIR against unidentified people. Gurjar said that the Bawarias who killed the peacocks were employed as watchmen by the villagers for security of the farms.

As the forest department personnel did not find any feathers it is suspected that the feathers were sold to the middlemen.

Rajasthan has earned notoriety for the poaching of the national bird, with the poaching rampant in Bundi, Bharatpur, Ajmer and Nagaur districts.

Sources say that nomadic tribes like Bawaria, Kanjar, and Banjara often kill peacock for its meat and a number of cases go unreported. Five peacocks were found dead in Bundi district in March this year. Similar incidents have been reported in the past too. Wildlife experts in the state say that killing of the bird is rampant as not only poachers but farmers too are feeding them with pesticides to keep them away from the cultivable areas and prevent damage to their crops.

The forest department, which has the responsibility of keeping a watch on the poachers and save the national bird, cites shortage of staff and resources. Bundi district tops in poaching of the national bird in Rajasthan, with as many as 200 peacocks reportedly killed in 2016.

According to animal activists, the reason for a constant rise in their deaths is that there is no ban on collecting and selling feathers shed by peacock.

“It is difficult to ascertain whether the feathers were plucked from the bird or picked after natural shedding. The best way to control the killings of peacocks is by creating awareness among the villagers so that any such incident is reported promptly. The poaching incidents have come down in Madhya Pradesh be creating awareness,” Animal Welfare Board of India member and animal activist R K Raghuvanshi told HT.

Peacock feathers are used in making fans, fancy peafowl dolls and also used in certain Ayurvedic medicine.

The peacock enjoys protected status under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and killing the bird is punishable under section 51(1-A) with imprisonment that may extend to seven years, and financial penalty.

Data collected from 20 states over two years by TRAFFIC (wildlife trade monitoring network) reveals that an aggregate of 25.71 crore bunches of feathers were found in godowns in Rajasthan, 3 crore in Gujarat and 2 lakh in Tamil Nadu.

Carcasses of 12 peacocks have been discovered at a village in Nagaur district, prompting forest authorities to seek police help to nab poachers.

The carcasses were found on Sunday evening near a field in Mundra village, an official said, adding that the peacocks died due to poisoning.

“So far, we have found bodies of 12 peacocks. Investigations have revealed that some people belonging to nomadic tribe of Bawaria have poisoned the peacocks for consuming its meat,” Naguar DCF Ved Prakash Gurjar told HT.

Gachhipura police have registered an FIR against unidentified people. Gurjar said the Bawarias, who killed the birds, were employed as watchmen by villagers for security of their farms.

As the forest department personnel did not find any feathers, it was suspected that the feathers were sold.

Rajasthan has earned notoriety for poaching of the national bird. Poaching is rampant in Bundi, Bharatpur, Ajmer and Nagaur districts.

Sources said nomadic tribes like Bawaria, Kanjar, and Banjara often kill peacock for its meat and a number of cases go unreported.

Five peacocks were found dead in Bundi district in March. Similar incidents have been reported in the past, too.

Wildlife experts said killing of the bird was rampant as not only poachers but farmers too were feeding them with pesticides to keep them away from the cultivable areas and prevent damage to their crops.

The forest department, which has the responsibility of keeping a watch on the poachers and save the national bird, cites shortage of staff and resources.

Bundi district tops in poaching of the national bird in Rajasthan, with as many as 200 peacocks reportedly killed in 2016.

According to animal activists, the reason for a constant rise in their deaths is that there is no ban on collecting and selling feathers shed by peacock.

“It is difficult to ascertain whether the feathers were plucked from the bird or picked after natural shedding. The best way to control the killings of peacocks is by creating awareness among the villagers so that any such incident is reported promptly. The poaching incidents have come down in Madhya Pradesh be creating awareness,” Animal Welfare Board of India member and animal activist RK Raghuvanshi told HT.

Peacock feathers are used in making fans, fancy peafowl dolls and also used in certain Ayurvedic medicine.

The peacock enjoys protected status under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and killing the bird is punishable under section 51(1-A) with imprisonment that may extend to seven years, and financial penalty.

Data collected from 20 states over two years by TRAFFIC - wildlife trade monitoring network - revealed that an aggregate of 25.71 crore bunches of feathers were found in godowns in Rajasthan, 3 crore in Gujarat and 2 lakh in Tamil Nadu.

First Published: Oct 16, 2017 19:11 IST