Pea­cock cen­sus to be­gin from Dec 1

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Rajasthan - Di­nesh Bothra htraj@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The for­est depart­ment of Rajasthan will carry out the pea­cock cen­sus in Jodhpur district be­tween De­cem­ber 1 and 7.

The em­ploy­ees from the pan­chay­ati raj in­sti­tu­tions (PRIs), non-gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions (NGOs) and wildlife lovers will take part in the cen­sus, which will be con­ducted us­ing the line tran­sect method, said Bhag­wan Singh Rathore, the as­sis­tant con­ser­va­tor of for­est, wildlife.

Un­der the line tran­sect method, the birds are counted on the ba­sis of their sight­ing on a par­tic­u­lar path.

The last pea­cock cen­sus in Rajasthan was con­ducted in the Sariska Na­tional Park in 2001.

Em­pha­sis­ing on the need for the pea­cock cen­sus, Dr Hem Singh Gehlot, an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of zo­ol­ogy depart­ment in the Jai Narayan Vyas Univer­sity, said that the num­ber of pea­cocks was very high in Western Rajasthan, but in the last few years there has been a de­cline in their num­ber. “Feral dogs have be­come an alarm­ing threat to sev­eral wildlife species, in­clud­ing pea­cocks and chinkara. Be­sides, the num­ber of pea­cocks has also gone down due to poi­son­ing and hunt­ing,” he added.

“This cen­sus will iden­tify those ar­eas where the num­ber of pea­cocks is still rel­a­tively high.

JODHPUR:

In such ar­eas, more ef­forts will be made to pro­tect the na­tional bird in fu­ture,” Gehlot said.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial records, at least 633 pea­cocks, at­tacked by feral dogs, were brought to the district’s res­cue cen­tre in the past eight years. How­ever, ex­perts said the num­ber could be higher than the re­ported.

Ac­cord­ing to them, only 10 per­cent of the in­jured pea­cocks were brought to the res­cue cen­tre. Be­sides, sev­eral cases of pea­cock deaths due to pes­ti­cides dur­ing sow­ing of Rabi and Kharif crops were also re­ported in the district.

HT PHOTO

The last pea­cock cen­sus in Rajasthan was con­ducted in 2001.

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