Peacock population on the rise at Bankapur sanctuary

It is home to nearly 1,000 birds, says officer

Peacock population on the rise at Bankapur sanctuary

In contrast to a recent report by the Mumbai-based Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), which has stated that the number of peacocks in the peacock sanctuary at Bankapur in Shiggaon taluk in Haveri district is dwindling, the officials working at the sanctuary claim that the bird’s population there has increased four times.

The BNHS report stated that peacocks may disappear forever from the Bankapur peacock sanctuary, if it is not rejuvenated.

However, Dr T Parameshwar Nayak, who is the deputy director of Khilari Cattle Promotion Centre at Bankapur, says the peacock population had improved over the years, and their number now may be between 600 and 1,000.

“Ever since the Union government declared this place as Bankapur peacock sanctuary in 2001, the number of peacocks and peahens is increasing. In 2009, Vinod Bhat of Bengaluru conducted a census of the peacocks. Though he did not give the final report, around 400 peacocks and peahens were here at that time. Now, the number is between 500 and 600,” Dr Nayak says.

The male-female ratio of peacocks is 1:20. This sanctuary has 89 male peacocks, which hints at the existence of more than 1,000 peacocks and peahens together, Dr Nayak explains.

Peacocks start breeding in a place only after confirming that they do not have any obstruction from human beings. Peacocks do not cause much damage to crops, and therefore, farmers also do not harm them. This sanctuary has a good atmosphere for the stay and breeding of peacocks, he said.

139 acres of area

“I have been working here since this 139 acres of area was declared a peacock sanctuary. So far, proper census has not been conducted to know the exact population of peacocks. As they migrate to other places, it is difficult to know the exact number.

However, the peacock population has increased now, compared to previous years,” Dr Nayak added.

Jathra is being held twice in a year at the Yallamma temple located inside the sanctuary, and wedding ceremonies are also held.

In addition, the deputy commissioner has permitted Bakrid and Ramzan prayers also.
Bird lovers are of the opinion that a huge gathering of people and vehicular movement inside the sanctuary should be prohibited, for the convenience of peacocks.
Indeed, the advice has to be taken seriously by the district administration if the national bird has to be protected.

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