Palos Verdes Estates officials and residents who advocate protection of the city's free-roaming peafowl stopped short of the courtroom this week after the city agreed to do an environmental study of its plan to trap and remove birds from private property upon request. A temporary delay of the trapping plan, ordered three weeks ago by a Los Angeles Municipal Court judge, will remain in effect for 30 days or until the environmental study is completed.
Friends of the Peacocks won the delay after arguing that removal of the peafowl would constitute an environmental change and requires study under the California Environmental Quality Act. A hearing this week on a permanent halt to the trapping plan was canceled after the city and the residents agreed to the study in a settlement approved by Judge John L. Cole.
The City Council on Sept. 10 approved the controlled trapping and removal of birds up to a specified number in an attempt to resolve years of controversy between people who value the peafowl and those who consider them nuisances. However, peafowl advocates immediately announced they would go to court to stop it.
The ban applies only to trapping by the city and the Southern California Humane Society, which provides animal control services in the city. The court ruled that individuals may trap peafowl on their property.