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An effort to save the enigmatic owls in India

  • Published
    14th Mar, 2022
Context

Recently, Traffic and WFF-India launched ID cards for owl species to highlight common threats and assist officials and other organisations working to protect the birds.

About

About ID cards for owl species:

  • Identification (ID) cards have been issued to enable law enforcement authorities to accurately identify 16 commonly-found owl species in illegal trade. The ID cards, in English and Hindi, will be distributed free to wildlife law enforcement agencies across India. 
  • The owl species in the ID cards are Asian Barred Owlet, Barn Owl, Brown Fish Owl, Brown Hawk Owl, Brown Wood-owl, Collared Owlet, Collared Scops-owl, Dusky Eagle Owl, Eastern Grass-owl, Jungle Owlet, Mottled Wood-owl, Oriental Scops-owl, Rock Eagle-owl, Spot-bellied Eagle-owl, Spotted Owlet and Tawny Fish-owl. 
  • The ID card is in a form of a downloadable booklet which has illustrations of the owls, the key features of each species, its distribution in India and its size comparison with the house sparrow and crow for easy identification.

About owls in India:

  • India is home to about 36 species of owls, all protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Not just the hunting, trading, or any other form of utilization of owls is a punishable offense as per the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • All owl species found in India are enlisted under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which restricts their international trade.

About TRAFFIC:

  • TRAFFIC was established in 1976 by WWF and IUCN as a wildlife trade monitoring network to undertake data collection, analysis, and provision of recommendations to inform decision making on wildlife trade.
  • Headquarters:Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • It aims to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals are not a threat to the conservation of nature.
  • Illegal wildlife trade is one of the main reasons that many species are endangered.
  • For example, rhino poaching to fuel to demand for the illegal rhino horn trade reached an all-time high in 2011, with 448 rhinos poached in South Africa alone.
  • This could unravel years of conservation success with African rhinos.

About WWF India:

  • WWF India is a science-based organization which addresses issues such as the conservation of species and its habitats, climate change, water and environmental education, among many others.
  • Over the years, its perspective has broadened to reflect a more holistic understanding of the various conservation issues facing the country and seeks to proactively encourage environmental conservation by working with different stakeholders- Governments, NGOs, schools and colleges, corporates, students and other individuals. 
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