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Eastern Grass Owl
NEWS

How students of Nagaland rescued an endangered owl species

Pungro Area College Students’ Union in Kiphire ‘seizes’ rare bird, enlisted in IUCN red list of threatened species, from Tsudowong villager; later releases it at Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary

Kiphire: Students of the remote Kiphire district of Nagaland have shown the way in wildlife conservation by rescuing a rare Eastern Grass Owl, sometimes referred to as the 'Daddy Long-Legs Owl', from a villager who caught the bird in Tsudowong on Saturday and later brought it to Pungro town.

The rare bird, enlisted in the IUCN red list of threatened species 2016 and belonging to the family of barn owl, was rescued by members of the Pungro Area College Students’ Union.

As per a press statement, the students' body later released the bird into the reserved forest at Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary, Pungro in Kiphire district on Sunday. It stated: “This rare species is said to be the Eastern Grass Owl, usually found in southeast Asia and enlisted in the IUCN Red List of threatened species 2016, and protected under the India Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972.”

The students' body added that Pungro subdivision is one of the biodiversity hotspots in Northeast India and hence it is promoting the significance of conserving the “flora and fauna whereby, checks illicit exploitation (sic). In this regard, the Union reminds all the federating units to remain vigilant and to enforce blanket ban on poaching within their respective jurisdiction as per the union’s resolution.”

In another statement, the Kiphire wildlife warden stated that “noted ornithologist and creator of Vannya, a digital bird guide, Shashank Dalvi helped in identifying the species” and was informed that there were “very few photographic records of the species from India till date, making this rescue even more significant”.