Endangered bird rescued

- SHIVA SHARMA, Kaski

Jul 12, 2014-

A highly endangered Eurasian Eagle Owl was found injured at Lalupate in Lakeside in Pokhara on Saturday. Local resident Gobinda Pahari and conservationist Krishnamani Baral rescued the bird and handed it over to the District Forest Office (DFO). Officials at the DFO said they will release the bird in Raniban. Local people said that the bird species are at risk due to poaching and attacks by other birds. Local resident Rabikanta Acharya of Ramghat said he has rescued six injured owls so far and released them after treatment.

He said there is not a separate hospital in Nepal offering treatment to birds, putting lives of the bird at risk. “We rescue only the owls in sight. However, many die for want of treatment. It is need of the hour to establish a separate hospital offering treatment to birds,” he said.

He said many rescued owls die as they fail to adapt to the environment. According to the conservationist Raju Acharya of Friend of Nature, an NGO, said more than 35 owls were treated by the organisation and released in forest.

A plan to establish a separate hospital offering treatment to birds was devised at the initiation of Acharya four years ago and handed over it to the Department of Forest. Acharya said though the department already asked concerned authorities to manage funds to establish such hospital, the plan is yet to materialise.

Ornithologist Rajendra Suwal said health institutions offering treatment to birds should be established in all five development regions for the conservation of birds. Researchers said the number of owl is on the decline due to poaching and smuggling. They said at least 2,000 owls are smuggled to foreign countries annually.

Poachers are said to be smuggling the bird to Pakistan and other Arab countries. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species 1975 and Forest Act 1993 put Eurasian Eagle Owl on the list of endangered species. The laws of the country also ban poaching of the species.

The Eurasian Eagle Owl is the largest of the species in the world with a life span of 60 years. The endangered bird is found mainly in South Africa and some parts of South Asia, including Nepal.

Published: 13-07-2014 09:27

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