After Driving Sparrows to Extinction, Monkeys Go After Peacocks in Govardhan

According to a government survey conducted a year ago, only 43 peacocks were found in the 21-km-long Govardhan Parikrama where several hundred used to dwell until few years back.

Govardhan, 2022-05-04 (Vrindavan Today News): After the near extinction of sparrows from Govardhan, the danger is now looming on peacocks that were once found in abundance in the hill range. It is not just rare to sight a peacock these days, but also to hear one. According to a government survey conducted a year ago, only 43 peacocks were found in the 21-km-long Govardhan Parikrama where several hundred used to dwell until some time ago. However, the forest department claims that their number is well over 70-80.

The sudden decline in peacock spotting in the hill is attributed to various reasons, chiefly the lack of trees, monkey menace, and the summer heat. Urbanisation and sound pollution are among the other contributing factors.

Govardhan Hill

The hills of Govardhan are home to a wide variety of birds, animals and plant life including traditional trees like Dhau, Kikar and Pilu. During the summer season every year, the forest department makes provisions for wooden and grass nests as well as drinking water for the birds. Until a few years back earthen pots were being used to store water. They have been replaced by modern sprinklers and fountains today.

Despite all these measures, the lack of care and sparse vegetation cause the branches of these trees become/appear denuded, thereby exposing bird nests to monkeys and other predators. Out on prowl, the monkeys end up attacking peacocks in the region.

With increasing deforestation, the monkey menace that was so far under check in Govardhan is fast catching up in scale and intensity to match Vrindavan and Barsana. After exterminating sparrows from the hills, the unruly primates are going after peacocks now. Without a monkey safari, as proposed by Mathura MP Hema Malini, a solution to this problem looks unlikely.

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