Jun 072021

Rancho Palos Verdes will consider extending pause on trapping, moving peafowl

There are 60 more peafowl than last year, but overall, there’s been a 35% decline since a 2014 census
Rancho Palos Verdes will consider extending pause on trapping, moving peafowl
Rancho Palos Verdes will consider extending pause on trapping, moving peafowl

More than a year after the city of Rancho Palos Verdes voted to pause its peafowl-trapping program, a March census shows an increase in the bird’s population.

The 2021 Peafowl Census Report, to be discussed at the Tuesday, June 1, City Council meeting, reported that 181 peafowl were reported in the city, compared to 121 in 2020.

The trapping program was initiated to help control the rising peafowl population — and to respond to residents’ complaints about the birds — but was put on hold after the decline was reported.

Despite the recent boost, here has been a 35% decline in the city’s peafowl population since the 2014 census, according to a staff report. In response, the City Council will consider extending the 2019 pause on  trapping and relocating the birds.

The birds, known for their iconic plumage of iridescent blue and green feathers, can be unpopular with some homeowners because of their loud calls, the waste they leave behind and occasional property damage, including occasionally destroying gardens, officials said.

Two particular neighborhoods, Sunnyside Ridge and Vista Grande, have seen an increase in peafowl, Rudy Monroy, code enforcement officer for the city, said Friday in a phone interview.  Resident complaints have not increased, however, Monroy said.

City staff recommends a pause for the rest of 2021 — until a new census is conducted in 2022.

In August 2015, the Peafowl Management Plan was adopted by the city to “humanely manage the peafowl population in the city,” according to a staff report.

Before the pause, upwards of 150 birds a year were trapped and relocated. “They take the birds to other semi-rural areas,” Monroy said. “Other cities that actually want the birds.”

The city’s goal is to maintain a citywide peafowl population of around 134, the total in 2000.

The 2021 census was conducted in March by Wildlife Services. The count could be under by as much as 10%, because of breeding peahens and limited physical access, officials said.

The community’s original peacock colony was a gift of 16 birds from the daughter of William Wrigley Jr., from her father’s aviary on Catalina Island, to Frank Vanderlip Sr., more than 100 years ago, according to the city’s peafowl management plan.

The birds made their home at the historic Vanderlip Estate in Portuguese Bend and may have been introduced to Palos Verdes Estates by former Mayor Fred Roessler, known by some as the “Father of Palos Verdes Estates,” in the early 1960s, the plan said.

In 2000, an increase in peafowl population — and a rise in complaints from residents — inspired the city to enlist the help of an expert to help manage the issues, the plan said.

Via dailybreeze.com

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