Dimapur, Feb. 4 (EMN): A rare species of owl—the eastern grass owl, belonging to the family of barn owl—was rescued by a students’ group, and released into the reserved forest at Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary, Pungro in Kiphire district on Feb. 3.

According to a press release from the Pungro Area College Students’ Union on Monday informed that its officials “seized” the owl from a villager who caught had the bird in the vicinity of Tsudowong village on Feb. 2, and later brought to Pungro town.

“This rare species is said to be 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,” it stated.

The union has been encouraging people in the area to conserve and preserve its rich biodiversity, it added. “Pungro subdivision being one of the biodiversity hotspots in Northeast India, the union has been promoting the importance of flora and fauna whereby, checks illicit exploitation (sic). In this regard, the union remind all the federating units to remain vigilant and to enforce blanket ban on poaching within their respective jurisdiction as per the union’s resolution.”

The Kiphire wildlife warden also issued a separate statement informing about the rescue of the owl at Pungro. “Noted ornithologist and creator of Vannya, a digital bird guide—Shashank Dalvi helped in identifying the species.

“Additionally he informed that there are very few photographic record of the species from India till date, making this rescue even more significant,” it informed.



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