I caught this bit of news a while back, and now it's also beginning to seep on Facebook and other media.
Pakistan has requested CITES (short for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) place peacock on Appendix III (commonly referred to as List III). CITES has three appendixes (I, II and III) - animals on which are protected on different levels. Appendix III contains animals which one member country (in this case, Pakistan) has asked other member countries to help control.
This does not mean that it's now illiegal to buy or sell peacock, but it does mean that both import and export of both birds and feathers now requires paperwork and the appropriate certificates. I foresee less access to peacock, and an increase in price.
Peacock is a fantastic material - nature's natural flash - and widely used in flytying. It's very common in trout flies, but also in sea trout and salmon flies, and I for one wouldn't like to be without it. Which won't happen in the foreseeable future, as I know a farmer who has 4 birds and I get feathers from him.
In the synthetic vs. natural discussion, peacock is on one hand easy to substitute - there are many synthetic dubbings, which look quite like the real deal and is more more durable. And so, one could say that there really is no reason not to use the synthetics, but it's just that the real deal is such a nice material, and impossible mimic completely.
I honestly think we'll see more of this in the future, and even though I don't think that peacock is in anyway in danger of becoming extinct, I trust that CITES do their homework and don't place a species on a list without reason.
Now, it's not really news as such, because after some searching on the CITES-website, I found the notice dated March 2014. Look for "Pavo cristatus" on page 2.
And don't forget - Jason's only here for another few days!
Have a great weekend!