THE Australian capital Canberra is proposing a new law to deal with its increasingly problematic feral peafowl population, the BBC reported the other day.
The BBC says that according to the Canberra Times, the Australian government is proposing an annual trapping programme to prevent the bird population from spreading further outside of the city of Canberra.
The local traffic authority reportedly says “peacocks have become disruptive to the local ecosystem, competing with native birds for habitat, as well as disturbing local vegetation”.
The paper adds that they have been the cause of continuous complaints from residents dating back to 2003, and have also caused drivers to have a number of near accidents. It says that they have become such a common sight, that one local found a male peacock in his bathroom staring at itself in the mirror.
The bird problem isn’t limited to Canberra. The city of Brisbane is banning residents from keeping the birds as pets, or else face fines of up to $6,300 Australian dollars (£3,439; US $4894).
It said the local council had similarly received numerous complaints, particularly about the birds’ noise – especially during breeding season – and damage to their properties.
Not everyone regards the birds as a pest, however. Both proposed laws have been heavily criticised by activists and locals alike, with some saying that the birds are a welcome sight.
Indian peafowl are native to South Asia, but have been introduced by colonial travellers to countries all around the world over the last two millennia. They were originally brought over to Australia by the British as pets, but in many countries have become feral and are known to be able to adapt to both warm and cold climates.