Peafowl Census & Trapping Efforts

Peafowl Trapping

There are no regulations or laws prohibiting the trapping of peafowl on private property. Residents should be aware that trapping peafowl requires a level of personal investment of time, energy and financial resources. Residents are strongly encouraged to implement alternative measures for discouraging peafowl from visiting their property.

The city does not have an active trapping program. Twice in its history, after the 2000 and 2008 censuses, the city supported limited, targeted trapping. Residents are permitted to trap peafowl on their personal property at their own expense. Residents must also arrange for the safe and humane transport of the peafowl to an appropriate location. Residents interested in trapping peafowl are strongly encouraged to utilize the services of a professional trapper.

For more information email Code Enforcement Officer Rudy Monroy or call 310-544-5296.

2016 Peafowl Trapping Program Final Counts

This past February, the City reached its goal of trapping 150 peafowl for 2016. A total of 52 males, 82 females, and 18 juveniles were trapped and relocated for the 2016 trapping period. Of these, 82 birds were trapped in the Vista Grande neighborhood, 54 in the Sunnyside Ridge/Palos Verdes Drive East neighborhood, 7 in the Crestridge neighborhood, 8 in the Portuguese Bend, and 1 in the Grandview neighborhood. A 2017 peafowl census is currently underway within the five trapping neighborhoods. Additionally, the Monaco neighborhood has been added to the census area. The results of the census will be presented to the City Council at their May 16, 2017 meeting to determine whether the Peafowl Trapping Program should resume for 2017. As with previous census reports, the 2017 census report will be posted on the City's webpage when available and a list-serve message will be issued. 

2011 to 2012 Census Summary

A team from Chino-based Animal Pest Management Services, consisting of a professional biologist and urban wildlife specialist, conducted a 2-day census of peafowl in the city on Wednesday, April 18, and Thursday, April 19. This 2-day census was a followup to a census performed on November 3-4, 2011. Animal Pest Management Services is experienced in this field, having regularly performed peafowl censuses for other cities including Palos Verdes Estates.

The censuses conducted in 2011-2012 focused on 5 Rancho Palos Verdes neighborhoods:

  • Crestridge
  • Monte Verde
  • Portuguese Bend
  • Sunnyside Ridge
  • Vista Grande

The first 4 areas were also studied in Rancho Palos Verdes' last 2 peafowl censuses conducted in 2000 and 2008. The 5th area, Monte Verde, was added because of a number of reports / complaints received by staff within the past year. The highest peafowl total of the 4 days observed in November 2011 and April 2012 was selected as the total for each of the 5 locations.

The 2008 census, performed during the month of December, demonstrated a 53% increase in peafowl over the 2000 census with the majority of the increase located in the Vista Grande area. Based on those findings, the council authorized staff to implement a trap and relocate program in Vista Grande, which resulted in the relocation of 71 peafowl in 2009. The November 2011 census, however, showed an overall decrease in peafowl numbers. Due to that decrease and a relatively low number of recent complaints from residents, staff did not recommend city-sponsored trapping. Instead, staff scheduled a second census in April, which is the time frame recommended by Animal Pest Management Services.

Overall, there was a decrease of 43 peafowl counted from 2008 to 2011-12, representing a 21% decrease. Compared to 2008 census totals, peafowl populations are down 7% in Portuguese Bend, 62% in Vista Grande and 10% in Crestridge. Sunnyside Ridge's total increased by 127%, up from 11 in 2008 to 25 in the 2011 to 2012 census.

City of Rancho Palos Verdes 2000, 2008 & 2011-2012 Peafowl Census Data Summary

Geographical Area2000 Peafowl Census Data2008 Peafowl Census Data2011-2012 Peafowl Census Data*Increase / Decrease 2008 - 2011-2012Percent Increase 2008 - 2011-2012
Monte Verden/an/a3n/an/a
Portuguese Bend677570-5-7%
Sunnyside Ridge0112514127%
Vista Grande298940-49-62%

Data taken on 4 separate days: November 3 to 4, 2011, and April 18 to 19, 2012. The highest total was selected.

Monte Verde numbers are not included in the total decrease or percentage decrease totals because that location was not included in 2000 or 2008 census.

Using the highest totals from each census location, the 2012 census total was higher than the 2011 total by 16. The 2012 totals were higher overall than the 2011 totals in Portuguese Bend, Vista Grande, and Crestridge, while the 2012 totals were lower than 2011 in Sunnyside Ridge and Monte Verde. Staff at Animal Pest Management Services opined that the numbers may have been slightly higher in the spring for 2 reasons:

  1. Peafowl are more active in the spring and therefore easier to count because it is the mating season.
  2. Juvenile peafowl are smaller in the fall and may not have been as visible to census observers.

One difference in methodology between the 2000 and 2008 censuses conducted by UC Davis personnel and the 2011 census conducted by Animal Pest Management is that UC Davis staff counted peafowl in the morning and evening on 2 days, while Animal Pest Management Services counted solely in the morning hours over 2 days. The 2011-2012 figures reflect the highest number of peafowl observed during a single day's count. Animal Pest Management Services' count might have been higher if additional counts were done in the evening. It is important to note that the census reflects the minimum number of birds observed in a given area, not the actual number, which is undoubtedly higher.

Because the overall population is lower by 21% compared to 2008 totals, staff did not recommend city-sponsored trapping. Staff will continue to refer residents to Mike Maxcy of Peacock Pro, who performed the peafowl trapping and relocation for the city in 2009. Mr. Maxcy has been willing to continue to offer his services to individual property owners who wish to remove individual peafowl. Trapping is limited to the individual's private property and is at their expense.

2008 Census & 2009 Trapping

A 2008 census conducted by a graduate student from the University of California Davis determined that there had been a 53% increase in the overall peafowl population, or 71 total peafowls, since the 2000 census. The increase was primarily in the Vista Grande neighborhood which saw a 207% increase. The city subsequently hired a professional trapper who successfully trapped and relocated 71 peafowls in 2009.

View the May 5, 2009, staff report (PDF), which includes the 2008 Peafowl Population Assessment.

2000 Census & 2001 Trapping

In October of 2000, the city hired Dr. Francine Bradley with the Avian Science Department at the University of California Davis to assess the city's peafowl population and recommend what action the city should take. Dr. Bradley and her team of assistants conducted a population survey as well as identified territorial boundaries, flock activity, and behavior patterns, peafowl impact, origins and appropriate means for population management.

Dr. Bradley focused her attention on neighborhoods within the Los Verdes, Portuguese Bend and Ridgecrest communities based upon resident responses from a direct-mail survey that was sent to various areas of the city. A series of community meetings were held to first gather public input and later to disseminate Dr. Bradley's findings on the city's peafowl population and various population control measures.

On February 20, 2001, the City Council unanimously approved Dr. Bradley's recommendation of a 1-time, city-sponsored demonstration project to trap up to 50 peafowls from private residential properties and to give away the caught birds to ranches and farms that wanted them. The trapping demonstration project was developed to show residents how to build a temporary, manually operated trap designed for peafowl and the appropriate method of trapping the birds. The city's intent was to help minimize the negative impact upon residents living in close proximity to large peafowl flocks by reducing the population size, not eliminating the peafowl population.

Due to reported sabotage of traps by peafowl enthusiasts, only 19 of the planned 50 peafowl were trapped. All 19 birds were relocated to large ranches or farms in California.

View the February 20, 2001, staff report (PDF), which includes the 2000 Peafowl Population Assessment.

Peafowl Census Report Resources