Wild peacocks in Yunnan decline in number, calling for protection - Yunnan - Kunming 
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Wild peacocks in Yunnan decline in number, calling for protection

By : InKunming | Published: 2014-June-17

[File photo]

[InKunming--Yunnan]  Peacock is renowned as a name card of Yunnan, as well as a representative icon of the province. However, number of wild green peacocks in Yunnan declines to no more than 100 at present, due to natural environment disruption and human hunting.

Most of peacocks in zoos are pavo critatus that are introduced from overseas species, and only a few of them are green peacocks that are bred and reared artificially.

Report showed that wild green peacocks have become extinct in many areas of Yunnan lately. If no protection measures are to be adopted, wild green peacocks may die out in 10 years.

Green peacocks normally spread over Hunan, Hubei, Sichuan, Guandong, Guangxi and Yunnan provinces in history. However, their distribution range has sharply shrunken over years, especially in early period of reform and opening-up.

According to surveys made in past 10 years, green peacocks only appeared in the middle and lower reaches of Lancang River, Nu River and Hong River in Yunnan, with low numbers in each places. Xishuangbanna, a prefecture which boasts its rich amount of green peacocks, can not see green peacocks in its many regions now.

Data showed, green peacocks have a large quatity in Yunnan. The number decreased to about 800 to 1,000 in 1995. After the year of 1990, green peacocks had become extinct in Jinghong, Mengna and Menghai. From 1995 to 1996, no green peacock was found in Mengzi, Jinping and Lvchun. Until 2014, only a few areas still have wild green peacocks.

The green peacock, also called Pavo muticus in scientific name, is a large galliform bird that is found in tropical forests of Southeast Asia.

The green peafowl was widely distributed in Southeast Asia in the past from eastern and north-eastern India, northern Myanmar and southern China, extending through Laos, borders between Thailand and Vietnam, Cambodia, Peninsular Malaysia and the islands of Java.

Green peacocks are found in a wide range of habitats including primary and secondary forest, tropical and subtropical, as well as evergreen and deciduous. They may also be found amongst bamboo, on grasslands, savannas, scrub and farmland edge.

Green peafowl are large birds, amongst the largest living galliforms in terms of overall size, though having lighter weights than wild turkey and perhaps being the longest extant, wild bird in total length. The male is 1.8 to 3 meters in total length but this includes its tail covert, which itself measures 1.4 to 1.6 meters. The adult female is around half the total length of the breeding male at 1 to 1.1 meters in length.

Green peafowl usually spend time on or near the ground in tall grasses and sedges. Family units roost in trees at a height of 10–15 m (33–49 ft). Their diet consists mainly of fruits, invertebrates, reptiles, frogs and rodents. As with the other member of its genus, the green peafowl can even hunt venomous snakes. Termites, flower petals, buds leaves and berries are favorite foods of adult peafowl.

Click here to view Chinese report.

(Editors: Tracy, Cathy Chen)

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