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Meet The National Animal of Myanmar, The Green Peafowl

Hey folks! Ever found yourself daydreaming about the magical lands of Myanmar? It’s a country radiant with golden pagodas, enchanting landscapes, and a rich tapestry of traditions and cultures. It’s a place where every corner has a tale to tell, a myth to unravel.

But, among all the treasures Myanmar holds, there’s one gem that stands out—the vibrant and majestic Green Peafowl, or as the locals fondly call it, the ‘Daung’ or ‘U-Doung’.

Did you know this shimmering bird is not just known for its breathtaking beauty, but it’s also a symbol of the descent of the sun in Burmese traditions? Intriguing, right? Stick around, as we delve deeper into the world of the Green Peafowl, explore its habitat, its significance, and learn some fascinating facts about this dazzling creature!

Quick Info About The Green Peafowl

Scientific Name:Pavo muticus
Average Size:Male: 7.5 ft (2.3 m) including tail; Female: 3.6 ft (1.1 m)
Average Weight:Male: 9–13 lbs (4–6 kg); Female: 6–9 lbs (2.75–4 kg)
Average Lifespan:15–25 years
Geographical Range:Southeast Asia; Primarily Myanmar, Thailand, Laos
Habitat:Forest edges near cultivated land; Typically seen venturing out during crop seasons
Conservation Status:Endangered (IUCN Red List)

Meet The Green Peafowl, National Animal of Myanmar

When you first lay eyes on the Green Peafowl, it’s like witnessing a living, breathing work of art. The males are especially eye-catching with their iridescent green-blue plumage and those long, ornate tail feathers that they can fan out in a spectacular display. But it’s not just the boys who get to have all the fun; female peafowls, although less colorful, have their own understated elegance and charm.

Have you ever wondered how such a colorful creature fits into the grand scheme of life in the wild? Well, the Green Peafowl is typically a ground-dweller but roosts in trees at night.

They wander in search of grains during the crop season, making them primarily herbivores, but they won’t say no to insects, small mammals, and reptiles now and then.

In the food chain, they’re more of the middle guys, with predators like leopards and large birds of prey looming above them. The nests are carefully set up on the ground, making each egg laid by the female quite precious indeed!

Myanmar Green Peafowl

Where Does The Green Peafowl Live?

Imagine being surrounded by the lush greenery and diverse landscapes of Southeast Asia. The Green Peafowl certainly doesn’t have to be imagined—it calls the vibrant environments of Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos home.

In Myanmar, it prefers the edges of forests near cultivated lands, blending the wild and the tamed, and keeping close to the bounty of the crops.

The delicate balance between survival and vulnerability is ever-present for the Green Peafowl. Living close to humans has its advantages, like an abundance of food, but it also brings threats, like deforestation and pesticide exposure.

It’s a life of contrasts, where shimmering colors dance among the shadows of the trees, and where each call of “Oway Oway” before sleeping is a reminder of the delicate balance of life in these enchanting lands.

Why and When Did The Green Peafowl Become The National Animal of Myanmar?

So, why does this dazzling bird hold such a revered status in Myanmar? The Green Peafowl, or ‘daung’ in Burmese, is not just a symbol of natural splendor but also of historical pride and resistance.

It represents the descent of the sun in Burmese tradition, illuminating the cultural fabric of the country with its radiant presence. It’s been the national animal of Myanmar for at least a decade, connecting people to their royal past and inspiring generations in their fight for freedom.

It was the emblem of the last kings of Myanmar, the Konbaung dynasty, who even had a Peacock Throne! Can you imagine a monarch, robed in royal attire, adorned with the emblem of a peacock, ruling from a throne inspired by this majestic bird?

It’s a vivid image of the high regard in which the peafowl was held. The bird even graced the national flags during the British Burma period, and it featured prominently on Burmese banknotes from 1948 to 1966.

The symbolism of the peafowl transcends royal imagery; it was adopted by Aung San, a national hero in his fight against British rule, and later by his daughter, Aung San Suu Kyi, and her National League for Democracy. Every flutter of the peacock flags during protests in Yangon symbolizes a resilient spirit and a longing for democracy.

Myanmar Green Peafowl

Where is The Green Peafowl Featured in Myanmar?

In Myanmar, the symbol of the Green Peafowl is everywhere, a constant reminder of the nation’s heritage and the resilient spirit of its people. Its image has adorned the national flag, represented the state on its seal, and even appeared on coins minted by the Konbaung dynasty.

You might wonder, why this deep connection? Well, it’s not just about the aesthetic appeal of the bird but also about what it stands for—the pride, the struggle, the resistance.

It’s a symbol so deeply entwined with the nation’s identity, representing not just the sovereign power of the monarchs but also the enduring spirit of the people, manifesting in various forms—whether it’s the dancing peacock, symbolizing the monarchy, or the fighting peacock, representing the student movements and anti-colonial nationalist endeavors.

And let’s not forget the emotional connection. Every depiction of the peafowl, whether on flags, seals, or coins, is a tribute, a silent nod to its significance in Myanmar’s culture.

Names of The Green Peafowl

The Green Peafowl is cherished under many names in Myanmar. It is called ‘daung’ or ‘u-doung’ in Burmese, depicting its vibrant presence and the high esteem in which it is held.

In English, it is known by its distinctive color, the Green Peafowl, but in Myanmar, each name reflects a specific aspect of its character or representation, like ‘ka-daung’ symbolizing the dancing peacock and ‘khut-daung’ representing the fighting peacock. 

Is The Green Peafowl Endangered?

It’s heartbreaking, but the Green Peafowl is indeed facing the threat of extinction. It’s categorized as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to severe loss of habitat and the menace of poaching.

Imagine, the bird that walks freely on the ground by day and sleeps in trees by night crying ‘Oway Oway’ is becoming a rare sight in its native lands!

These majestic birds are subjected to various threats. Deforestation has stripped them of their protective shelters, and crop pesticides are poisoning their food sources. It is particularly alarming as these birds lay only five to ten eggs at a time, making every individual crucial for the survival of the species.

But hope is not lost! Conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts are working relentlessly to protect the peafowl. The domestication and mistreatment of these birds, often by those who admire them, are being addressed through awareness campaigns and education.

Every effort is being made to ensure that future generations can also witness the mesmerizing beauty of the Green Peafowl in the wild and understand its profound significance in Myanmar’s heritage.

Myanmar Green Peafowl

Interesting Facts About The Green Peafowl

  1. Distinctive Cry: The Green Peafowl has a unique cry, ‘Oway Oway,’ alerting people to its presence and unfortunately making it an easy target for capture.
  2. Symbol of Resistance: The peafowl has been a symbol of not just royalty but also resistance, inspiring generations in their struggle against colonial rule and military oppression.
  3. Royal Emblem: The peafowl was the official symbol of Burma’s last kings, the Konbaung dynasty. The monarchs wore peacock insignia on their robes, emphasizing their sovereign power and connection to this majestic bird.
  4. Varied Representations: The Green Peafowl has multiple representations in Burmese culture, such as the dancing peacock, symbolizing the monarchy, and the fighting peacock, representing student movements and nationalist aspirations.
  5. Cultural Integration: It is integrated deeply into the local customs and traditions, symbolizing various aspects of Burmese life, from royal sovereignty to individual resilience.
  6. Sleeping Habits: They sleep in trees at night, seeking refuge from the dangers lurking on the ground.
  7. Ground Walkers: Despite their ability to fly, they prefer walking on the ground, exploring their surroundings with careful steps.
  8. Art and Literature: Their vibrant colors and majestic presence have inspired countless artworks, poems, and stories, contributing to the rich Burmese culture and literature.

Other Beautiful Animals Native To Myanmar

  • Burmese Star Tortoise: A remarkable and endangered species, this tortoise is native to the dry, deciduous forests of Myanmar and is admired for its unique star-patterned shell.
  • Hoolock Gibbon: With its captivating whooping calls, this primate is one of the endangered species living in the tropical forests of Myanmar.
  • Burmese Python: A symbol of strength and power, this magnificent snake can be found in the marshes and forests, its elegant movement and imposing presence command both fear and admiration.
  • Irrawaddy Dolphin: This playful and friendly dolphin, with its distinctive rounded forehead, can be spotted in the waters of the Irrawaddy River.
  • Blyth’s Tragopan: A beautiful pheasant with vibrant colors and unique vocalizations, it is a sight to behold in the hilly terrains of Myanmar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Green Peafowl significant to Myanmar?

The Green Peafowl holds historical and cultural importance in Myanmar, being a symbol of royalty and resistance, it represents the collective consciousness and resilience of the people of Myanmar.

Is the Green Peafowl only found in Myanmar?

No, the Green Peafowl is not exclusive to Myanmar; it is also found in other Southeast Asian countries, although its population is declining due to habitat loss and other threats.

Can the Green Peafowl fly?

Yes, despite their preference for walking on the ground, Green Peafowls are capable of flying and usually perch on trees to sleep at night.

Why is the Green Peafowl endangered?

The Green Peafowl is endangered primarily due to habitat loss, poaching, and exposure to pesticides. Conservation efforts are underway to protect this species and its habitat.

How is Myanmar addressing the decline in the Green Peafowl population?

Conservationists, wildlife enthusiasts, and the local community in Myanmar are involved in various conservation efforts, awareness campaigns, and education initiatives to protect the Green Peafowl and its habitat.

Other National Symbols of Myanmar

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