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Goa May List India's Treasured Peacocks as Vermin

The popular tourist state has ruffled a few feathers with its proposal to reclassify the country's national bird.

India's popular tourist state of Goa has ruffled a few feathers with its proposal to reclassify the national bird the peacock as vermin, making them easier to cull, reports said Friday.

The move comes just weeks after Goa's legislative assembly caused similar consternation when it ruled that the resort state's beloved coconut trees were not in fact trees, but palms.

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"We have listed several wild species including wild boar, monkey, wild bison (Gaur), peacock as nuisance animals," the Press Trust of India quoted Goa's agriculture minister Ramesh Tawadkar as saying.

"These animals are creating (a) problem for farmers and are destroying their cultivation in rural areas," he told reporters on Thursday evening, according to the PTI report.

The colourful peacock is India's national bird and is protected under the country's Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.

But animal rights groups fear the Goa government's proposal to reclassify the peacock as a "nuisance animal" is intended to make it easier to cull the birds.

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"Goa seems to be trying to... (have) India's national bird labelled this way so that they may be hunted and killed," Poorva Joshipura, the CEO of PETA India, told AFP.

"If Goa wants to remain on the tourist map, people expect it to be a paradise for animals too," she added.

Last month, opposition politicians in Goa reacted with outrage after the state government reclassified the coconut tree as a palm because it doesn't have any branches.

Animals That Use Flash To Attract: Photos

Officials said it was necessary to remove the coconut from the list of protected trees to make it easier to fell "economically unviable" and dangerous trees, and replace them with newer ones.

But opponents fear it means that large swathes of coconut trees could be chopped down to clear space for development.

See this bird? Hard not to, right? It's

caused quite a stir

in a Brooklyn neighborhood this week. It's a male painted bunting, a showy finch that's not usually seen in the area. He's drawn crowds of onlookers -- both dedicated and casual birders alike. If he knows he's been trending on Facebook lately, he chooses to pretend he doesn't. In this bright bird's honor, we thought we'd celebrate a few other fliers with flashy feathers. Enjoy!

Gaudy Bird's Appearance Electrifies Brooklyn

Check out this king vulture. The fleshy orange lump on its beak is called a caruncle. Its function is, as in so many other features in nature, a purely ornamental way to attract the ladies. It would make a good guest host on The Muppets.

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This male Mandarin duck is also looking full to bursting with color. Native to East Asia, this one's a female, evident from the white tip on the end of her otherwise red bill.

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Kingfishers can bring the flash, too. Neat fact: Kingfishers nest in cavities, often holes underground. Some kingfishers nest in vacated termite nests.

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The keel-billed toucan can reach nearly 2 feet long, including its bill, and weigh around 1 pound. The tree-perching experts have feet with toes that point in different directions - the better to cling with. Its bill is just hollow bone and not at all as big of a pain as it looks like for them to carry around.

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Here's another striking bird,the common green magpie, and there's nothing common about its plumage.

Birds' Nests In Bizarre Urban Places: Photos

How could we not include a peacock, if we're interested in displaying dazzling bird colors?

Animals That Use Flash To Attract: Photos

Make way for a blue-and-yellow macaw! The parrot makes its home in forests and woods in tropical South America. It can talk, it gets along well with humans, and it can reach nearly 3 feet long and weigh up to 3 pounds. There's not a lot of variation in the coloring of blue-and-yellow macaws. They're pretty much, well, blue and yellow. But even with standard-issue colors they're stunning all the same.

Dinosaurs Of A Feather Come Together: Photos

The only thing better than one parrot is a collection of four, gathering to compare plumage, trade stock tips, and catch up on each other's weekends.

Only One "Rio" Parrot Left

Can you guess what this bird is called? If you said "hey, DNews, it's a red crested turaco," you'd be right! Did you also know it's the national bird of Angola? It sounds a bit like a monkey when it makes its calls in the jungle, and it's red crest is such a dazzler that this ginger-topped bird has it in its name.

Even Great Tits Pass On Traditions