Bhubaneswar: Come monsoon, and the greens taken on the brighter shades with patches of purple at Pakidi hills near Aska in Ganjam district as peafowls dance displaying their plumage in all grace. It is a sight to behold!
A protected forest area spread over 480 hectares and part of Ghumsar south division forest, Pakidi is a perfect example of how everything in nature is interdependent for survival. And the peafowl population that it hosts is what makes it special.
Read on to know the amazing facts about community conservation practice in these hills.
An example of participatory conservation, Pakidi is surrounded by seven villages – Subhachandrapur, Ambuabadi, Kerikerijhola, Bharatapalli, Cheramarai, Sameiguda, Karanauli, who collectively work for the protection of the National Bird of India.
The villagers here have been protecting the bird for the past 20 years. However, Ganjam Peacock Protection Committee (Ganjam Mayur Surakhya Samiti) was formed only in 2005.
For their commendable contribution in protecting the national bird, the committee has been conferred with the Biju Patnaik Award for Wildlife Conservation.
Villagers say that it is the most beautiful bird and there are religious sentiments attached to it. Besides, peacocks are natural seed disseminator and best pest controller.
There’s almost zero poaching in Pakidi. Villagers conduct an informal set of rotational patrolling at night so as to check theft and poaching. Their efforts are apparent in the ocular estimates that say around 1500 peacocks can be found in these hills.
To save the birds from dying of thirst, the villagers provide water to them on a rotational basis. Women and children place pitchers filled with water after every 1-2 km where peafowls can slake their need for water. The Forest Department has also built a water tank for the peafowls.
Other than the majestic peafowls, bear, barking deer, hyena, and wolfs are other animals that you can spot in Pakidi.
In 2011, 10 peacocks had reportedly died of poisoning because of the use of pesticides in the cotton fields they feed on. Things are better now, though.