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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Attempts to control peafowl on the Palos Verdes peninsula


Peafowl are an introduced species on Southern California’s Palos Verdes Peninsula. Frank Vanderlip, Sr., the area’s developer, brought this non-native species to his Rancho Palos Verdes estate. While the exact year is not known, it is likely that the introduction took place between 1913 and 1937. Following Vanderlip’s death, there has been little or no management of the birds. They have wandered off the Vanderlip property and reproduced freely. As the flocks have grown, so has their territory. The birds’ range now includes the municipalities of Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, and San Pedro. The birds are responsible for serious property damage to homes, landscaping, and vehicles. During the breeding season, residents must deal with the birds’ nocturnal cries and diurnal aggression. Municipalities had enlisted the assistance of humane society, animal control, and police officers. One community legislated the birds’ territory to be two neighborhoods. All of these efforts had minimal impact on bird number and territory size. Recently, the cities of Rancho Palos Verdes and Palos Verdes Estates requested the assistance of the University of California, Davis. University researchers initially conducted bird counts. Subsequently they assisted in increasing the number and improving the nature and placement of peafowl traps. These efforts resulted in significant numbers of birds being trapped and relocated to appropriate adoptive homes. Removal of any of the birds is opposed by a small group. These citizens engage in activities that are counterproductive to the trapping efforts. Ongoing trapping, citizen education, and a peninsula-wide approach to peafowl management is needed.

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