Nature Quest: The end of colourful peafowl
Karim mama used to display bird feathers just across our school gate. He only had feathers of one kind -- long and spatula-tipped wire-like vivid feathers. I used to buy one for Tk 5 almost every week and preserved those between the pages of my old books. The fascination evolved back then to see all the tail feathers of Moyur fully opened like a hand full of colourful cards, dancing gracefully in our Sal forest and embellishing the forest corner with its wide open eyespots at the peak of each tail feather.
I grew up fantasising those flawless feathers and became a birdwatcher. But I was utterly disappointed when I came to know that the Indian Peafowl is no more in our country. My long-cherished hope to watch the glossy green train of elongated tail with black-centred ocelli at the tips vanished with the disappearance of the bird. The last one was seen in early 1980s in our deciduous forest (Bhawal area) of Dhaka. This highly adaptive species, which can successfully survive in fairly degraded habitats, possibly faced extinction from our country due to continuous hunting. We have lost many species from our land and today many more are heading towards extinction and we will keep shouting that they are disappearing and will be gone if we can't save our last forests, wetlands and all other natural habitats.