forest owlet conservation
However, for us it is still Blewitt’s owl. The Forest owlet is protected under Schedule 1 of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, and its hunting or trapping is strictly prohibited in India. One owl can feed on 1000 mice in a year, which would otherwise damage 1/3rd of the grain in a crop field. William Blewitt was a customs officer in Punjab so he decided to use the pseudonym of his elder brother to avoid his boss’s wrath for spending time away from his office in Punjab for collecting birds in Central India! Owls are also killed for using their powerful eyes, talons, beaks, tails, and feathers for gaining the prowess of owls in fake traditional medicines. The proposed Upper Tapi Irrigation Project threatens 244 hectares of habitat used by the Forest owlet. Breeding Vultures @ Anjaneri Cliff. S ince 2005, WRCS has been working on the ecology and conservation of endangered Forest Owlet and other owls in Central India. In some areas, farmers believe that worshipping owls will bring wealth in their lives. Habitat loss, predation and hunting are the main threats to the survival of this bird species. The mystery of the forest owlet’s life remains to be unraveled. It appears to be a sedentary resident with recent sightings from fairly open dry deciduous forest dominated by teak Tectona grandis (Ishtiaq et al. It has captured the imagination of many within and outside the country and for the right reasons. She hopes this website provides a platform for people to be aware about species in the verge of extinction and heighten their conservation efforts. 2. They make several different calls. Between 1872 and 1884, six forest owlet specimens were collected from the country; the first one in 1872 by Blewitt as mentioned earlier. Critically endangered species are those species which are facing threat of extinction in immediate future. If owls possessed such super powers, they will not get caught and killed so easily! Description of Forest Owlet (Athene blewitti).Classification of Forest Owlet (Athene blewitti). Forest Owlet preferred forest habitat has an upper canopy at 15-26 meters with a 10-20 meter understory. The bird breeds between October and May, laying a brood of two eggs in a hole of soft wooded tree. The Forest owlet is a species of small owl found in the forests of Central India. The bird was rediscovered 113 years later in 1997 in Central India by Pamela Rasmussen. However, in India, owls still have a long way to go before they make it on the official priority list of species that need extra protection. The forest owlet has an interesting past associated with it. Forest owlet’s preferred habitat is the dry deciduous teak forests. Dr. Pamela Rasmussen, an American ornithologist was studying the preserved skins of forest owlet. Every year during the Deepavali Festival, owls are captured in large numbers for trade and for gambling. ... About Our Society. It is also listed on Appendix I and Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Hume, a well-known British taxonomist and a civil service officer serving in India. Unfortunately, many of these species severely lack basic research, resulting in poor conservation strategies. The Forest Owlet is an endangered variety. second one in 1877 by Mr. Valentine Ball from Orissa (Odisha) and four more during 1880-1883 by Mr. James Davidson from Central Maharashtra. Forest Owlet Heteroglaux blewitti is an endangered bird endemic to India. They started with a search in Odisha and Chhattisgarh where the erstwhile forests had disappeared giving way to crop fields. This small sized owlet has been placed among the top seventeen birds in the world that are in the endangered category. Meanwhile, the study has provided valuable insights in strategies owls have adapted for survival and how thoughtlessly we destroy them out of personal insecurities and irrational beliefs. They could not locate any forest owlet there. Popularizing owl conservation through owl guide books, local folklore and street plays. In our ongoing forest owlet conservation work, the following measures are being initiated: Prachi is a wildlife biologist with the Wildlife Research and Conservation Society (WRCS), Pune. We surveyed the states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. It is also listed on Appendix I and Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The Forest Owlet is endemic to India and been classified as a Critically Endangered species by the IUCN. Today, the bird is Critically Endangered as per the current IUCN Red List category. The bird is strongly diurnal and fairly easy to detect, frequently perching on prominent bare branches. The story of its apparent extinction and rediscovery is equally dramatic. 3. Many owls roost and nest in snags, tree cavities and tree hollows. Hume immediately recognized this owl as a new species for science and named it after Blewitt. On a cold winter morning, they are often seen sunning themselves from tall bare branches. Eggs and chicks of owls are stolen from the nests for gambling and earning a quick buck. Thereafter, Forest owlet was considered extinct until it was rediscovered 113 years later in 1997 by American Ornithologists Ben King, Pamela Rasmussen, and David Abbott at Shahada near Taloda in the Nandurbar District of Maharashtra. She is also the author of Environment Science Essentials, a set of books for school children. The Forest Owlet is endemic to India, that is, it is not found anywhere outside India. Hence, it is the need of the hour to conserve the bird species for the maintenance of biological diversity and ecological stability. The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) initiated the surveys in 1999 and reported the presence of forest owlet from North-western Maharashtra and Melghat Tiger Reserve. Many owls hunt by the roadside and are frequently killed by speeding vehicles. The forest department admitted violations of norms by the Wildlife Research and Conservation Society (WRCS), based out of Pune, over the conservation of the endemic forest owlet … However, now it appears to be restricted to the Satpura Mountain Ranges in Central India along the Tapti River in northern Maharashtra and south-western Madhya Pradesh. Its present sites include Melghat Tiger Reserve, the Taloda, Toranmal and Mahendri Reserve Forests, Yawal Wildlife Sanctuary and Burhanpur and Khandwa forest divisions. Our field -based research has resulted in new insights on the habitat use, foraging, nesting and conservation needs of the Forest Owlet … The owl is considered to be the vehicle of the Goddess Laxmi. Forest Owlet. The forest owlet is ... Down to Earth and Heritage India on issues related to environment and its conservation. Owls are like the golden goose for sorcerers. Forest owlet is endemic across the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha. From 2012 onwards, we are carrying out an ecological assessment of the forest owlet in Madhya Pradesh with the support of Department of Science and Technology and Raptor Research and Conservation Foundation (RRCF), Mumbai. The Forest Owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti) is a curious bird, both by name and nature. Owls exploit nocturnal prey at night, which would otherwise proliferate and may damage the ecosystem. The current range covers open teak forest at about 400-600 meters altitude. Dr. Rasmussen and her team decided to carry out a survey of the bird at its historical locations In India. 2002).Along with teak, a ground cover of weed like wild basil and grasses is typical of the known owlet … The wings and tail are banded with white trailing edges. These prey items are often caught in hollow tree trunks. Habit and habitat of Forest Owlet. Melghat is considered to be the species stronghold. The body parts and eggs of Forest owlet are used for local customs, such as making of drums. In some regions of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, farmers install a pole in their field for the owls to perch and hunt out the rodents. Forest Owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti) Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 12254922 Wildlife Research and Conservation Society (WRCS) is a Non-Profit and Non-Government Organisation based in Maharashtra State of India. The Forest Owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti) is a curious bird, both by name and nature. Given this background, one can imagine the surprise and excitement that was generated by the news of its rediscovery in 1997. Distribution of Forest Owlet in India. It is a typical owlet with a rather plain crown and heavily banded wings and tail. The following actions are needed for the conservation of Forest owlet. Till then it is a serious case of identity crisis! In areas where frequent owl roadkills are found, a proposal for installation of speed breakers has been sent to Highway authorities. The upper breast is almost solid brown and the sides are barred with a white central wedge in the lower breast. Once again an intensive search was carried out for the forest owlet all over the country but it drew a blank. She realized that the bird looked very different from those shown in the illustrations in Indian bird books, and that Indian scientists were looking for it based on a wrong picture of its appearance.