Species in News: Peafowl


    In News

    • In an incident, a man was hit by a peafowl (pavocristatus) while driving a bike, which has turned the spotlight on the increasing population of peafowls in the Kerela state.

    Peafowl Species

    • About:
      • The term “peacock” is commonly used to refer to birds of both sexes. Technically, only males are peacocks. Females are peahens, and together, they are called peafowl.
      • Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) belongs to the Phasianidae family. They are among the largest of all birds that fly.
        • Phasianidae is the pheasant family, a bird family that includes among its members the jungle fowl (from which the domestic chicken is descended), partridge, peacock, pheasant, and quail.
      • The growing population of peafowls signals climate change. They are known to grow and thrive in dry conditions.


    • Types:
      • There are two familiar peacock species. The blue peacock lives in India and Sri Lanka, while the green peacock is found in Java and Myanmar (Burma). A more distinct and little-known species, the Congo peacock, inhabits African rainforests.
      • The Indian peafowl is the national bird of India and has a protected status in that country.
      • The species are currently habituated more in central Kerala, followed by southeast and northwest parts of the state. At least 19 per cent of the states’ area is suitable habitat for this species; this may increase by 40-50 per cent by 2050.

    • Protection Status:
      • They are protected under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Act, 1972.
      • IUCN: Indian peafowl (Least Concern)
        • Green peacock (Endangered)
        • Congo peafowl (Vulnerable)
    • Threats:
      • Habitat loss, smuggling, hunting and predation.
    • Concerns:
      • Peafowls are a threat to paddy farmers in Kerala; they destroy its seeds and cause man-animal conflict.


    Source: DTE