Outback NT town finds innovative solution to pesky peacock problem

Published: August 14, 2023

The burgeoning peacock population is ruffling a few feathers in the Outback NT town of Elliot … and the ‘too-much-of-a-good-thing’ problem has sparked an innovative solution.

The NT News reports that Barkly Regional Council has announced an adopt-a-peacock program to minimise the number of the ‘beautiful-but-big’ birds roaming around the tiny town located halfway between Darwin and Alice Springs.

Mayor Jeff McLaughlin told the newspaper that a peacock could make a fabulous addition to any home or business as they not only ‘look great’, but were ‘also a really effective guard animal’.

While grey nomads and other tourists might enjoy the novelty of seeing the stunning peafowl strutting their stuff, the birds apparently do have a dark side.

Mr McLaughlin warned they could be ‘aggressive to people’, ‘make a terrible mess’ and ‘sound like they’re screaming’.

“There’s been a huge spike in their numbers and the town is growing concerned that they’re getting out of control,” Mr McLaughlin told the NT News. “We need a managed way of reducing their numbers by separating the males from females, but it’s something we have to manage sensitively.”

According 2021 census data, Elliot about has a population of 287 … and Mr McLaughlin estimated there was one peacock for every person in the town.

  • Have you enjoyed seeing the peacocks in Elliot? And have you been to other towns where it seems like a specific creature appears to be ‘taking over’? Comment below.

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I remember staying in a caravan park at Kinka Beach in Qld a few years back when after two sleepless nights of screaming Peacocks and the plopping sounds of the birds pooping on the roof drove us out of town.

Stayed overnight in the Elliot caravan park.
Beautiful birds no question.
The amount of peacock poo was quite a problem keeping it out of the van.

I find that they are interesting birds.

The birds at Elliot have a habit of flying to highest ledge. Which means caravan roof or in our case the open window of the van. The window was fully opened (due to heat) so it became a shelf on the side of the van, for peacock to land, with some considerable force.
Resultant broken window had to be “Gaffer Taped” until we found Dometic agent at Darwin.

Well I am a Peacock so do love the birds! Sharon Peacock.

Peacocks are great at keeping snakes away. Warburton roadhouse has peacocks for this very reason. But nearly 300 in a small town is a bit much .

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