Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Pavo cristatus feather extract in the form of water or ash can be used to treat the poisonous bites of Russell vipers Vipera russelii, common cobras Naja naja, and Malabar pit vipers Trimeresurus malabaricus. The extract is high in iron, protein, and steroids, and acts as an inhibitor to harmful enzymes in the venom that cause tissue damage. This is a traditional treatment in India for those who live far away from hospitals and doctors.
Not only can the feathers be used for medical purposes, but can be used for decoration. Feathers were used to embellish helmets and hats during the Middle Ages, and more recently are used in flower arrangements. The feathers were used to fletch arrows and were woven into clothes. Over one hundred feathers can be collected from a single peacock when it molts, a collection method that does not harm the birds.
Their eggs are a profitable source of income in areas where they are not revered and protected through religion. Because of their extravagant trains, peacocks have been depicted in art and literature throughout the ages. In Hindu and Buddhist religions, Pavo cristatus is considered a vehicle for the gods. Religion is not the only reason Indian blue peafowl are respected and loved. They also kill deadly snakes such as cobras, and consumes a large number of insects reducing the amount of pesticides used on crops.
Positive Impacts: pet trade ; food ; body parts are source of valuable material; source of medicine or drug ; controls pest population
- Murari, S., F. Frey, B. Frey, T. Gowda, B. Vishwanath. 2005. Use of Pavo cristatus feather extract for the better management of snakebites: Neutralization of inflammatory reactions. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 99/2: 229-237.