DIMAPUR, Feb 5 - A rare species of owl, known as Eastern Grass Owl, was rescued by members of the Pungro Area College Students’ Union from a villager in Pungro town of Kiphire district in Nagaland on Monday, sources said.
The owl – Tyto longimembris belonging to the barn owl family – was caught by the villager at Tsudowong village on February 2. He brought the owl to Pungro town on Monday.
On sighting the rare bird, the students seized it from the villager and handed it over to officials of the Wildlife Division of the Forest department. Forest range officer K Kiusang and his staff later released the owl into the Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary at Pungro on Monday.
Kiphire Wildlife Division warden Suman WM Sivachar, in a statement today, said noted ornithologist and creator of Vannya – a digital bird guide – Shashank Dalvi identified the bird. Dalvi said there are very few photographic records of the species in India, making this rescue even more significant.
The students’ union, in a release, said this rare species is usually found in Southeast Asia and enlisted in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 2016. It is also protected under the India Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972. The union asked all its federating units to remain vigilant and enforce a blanket ban on poaching.