Pune is all set to hold the nation’s first owl festival and bird enthusiasts all over the country are rejoicing. The 2-day fest organized by Ela Foundation, an NGO working towards nature education and animal conservation, will strive to educate citizens on ‘not-so-popular’ topic of owl conservation.
The festival will also feature art forms like pictures, posters, paintings, lanterns, lamp shades, origami, stitched articles, poems and stories on owls. The organizers would try their best to clear the air over a number of myths and superstitions associated with the bird.
Here are three reasons why India was badly in need of such a festival:
- Out of around 262 species of owl found across the globe, 75 find their name in the Red Data Book, thus indicating their high risk of extinction.
- Not governments but an owl is a farmer’s ‘best friends’. The bird feeds on rats, mice, rodents and bandicoots- the primary agents that destroy agricultural croplands.
- As per a report published by Traffic India — a wildlife trade monitoring wing — and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2010, owls were found to be “consumed and traded for a number of purposes, including black magic practices, street performances, taxidermy (the activity of cleaning, preserving, and filling the skins of dead animals with special material to create an illusion as if they are still alive), private zoos, food and medicines”.