Five endangered owls spotted in Oman

Five endangered species of owls were monitored in Al Buraimi Governorate

Al Buraimi: Al Buraimi Governorate is distinguished by the diversity of its wildlife in its three Wilayats due to its diverse terrain represented by mountains, plains, valleys, sand and wild trees, which also constitute one of the factors of attraction for migratory and endemic birds.

Specialists in the governorate’s environmental management are making continuous efforts to protect wildlife, preserve biodiversity, document its various details, and enhance employee culture about endangered species. These efforts have translated into monitoring and documenting five species of owls in the governorate.

Muhammad bin Salem Al Balushi, an environmental systems specialist in the Environment Department in Al Buraimi Governorate, said that after an effort that lasted four years, he was able to monitor five rare species of owls in different places in the governorate, adding that their importance lies in the fact that they are an endangered species.

He explained that the species that were monitored in the governorate were the (Pharaonic) owl, the short-eared owl, the barn owl, the little owl, and the barred tree owl, stressing that this monitoring process enabled him to know the characteristics that distinguish them, in addition to their way of living and the seasons of their existence.

He pointed out that the Pharaonic owl is widespread in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and belongs to the family of true owls. Its size ranges from 50-70 centimeters and its weight reaches 1-3 kilograms. Its wingspan reaches approximately two meters. It nests on cliffs, distinguished by the yellow-orange color of their eyes, in addition to the presence of two short tufts of feathers on their ears, and their face resembles that of a cat. As for the deaf owl, or the short-eared owl, it is found in many regions in the Northern Hemisphere.

It is one of the birds that lives in open areas such as swamps. It often hunts during the day and nests on the ground. As for the barn owl, it is distinguished by its medium size and its golden color.

As for the female owl, it It is distinguished by dark spots, and its face resembles the shape of a heart, in addition to its black eyes. It lives in open, wooded areas and in farm and city environments, and builds its nests in large warehouses and in the gaps of trees and old buildings.

He explained that the little owl has a round head and long legs, and the female’s color is gray tending to brown, and its upper parts are characterized by the presence of white dots, in addition to its yellow eyes and light yellow beak, and its length ranges between 21-23 cm. The striped tree owl is 21 centimeters long, and its color is sandy gray, while its color tends to gray from below, with sharply clear black lines.

Al-Balushi confirmed that the breeding process through hatching of these species was monitored, with the exception of the short-eared owl, which is unstable and is considered a migratory bird. He pointed out that taking pictures of the various species in the governorate was not an easy matter, as the process took four years in different places of the country.

Conservation: The monitoring process contributes to introducing community members, specialists and researchers to wildlife, and the importance of preserving them, especially those that are threatened with extinction.

He pointed out that the next stage is to preserve and protect them, and follow up on their whereabouts, explaining that not disclosing their whereabouts is one of the methods that contribute to preserving them and preventing them from being subjected to poaching.

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