National owl festival in Syangja raises awareness on owl conservationVarious programmes—such as bird watching, nature photography, exhibition on owl conservation, and essay and poetry competition among school students—were organised during the two-day festival.
The two-day Nepal Owl Festival 2020 was jointly organised by Rangbhang Club, Friends of Nature Nepal and Millennium Trek Management Committee.
Bal Kumar Gurung, the coordinator of the main organising committee, said the festival aims to aware people on the importance of owl conservation.
Various programmes—such as bird watching, nature photography, exhibition on owl conservation, and essay and poetry competition among school students—were organised during the two-day festival. Traditional songs and dances of the local communities were also performed.
Students and teachers of nine schools in Syangja and Tanahun, as well as the local people, attended the festival. Conservationists claimed that the festival was successful in raising awareness among hundreds of people on the importance of owl.
Owls are one of the most vulnerable bird species in Nepal. It is estimated that around 2,000 owls are trafficked in the country every year. Nepal’s National Red List of Birds (2015) has enlisted eight out of 22 owl species found in Nepal as endangered.
Conservationists opine that owls are persecuted because of their negative social impression, cultural beliefs and a lack of awareness about its importance in nature.
Owls, which are said to be friends of farmers, eat rats, snakes, frogs and other insects and maintain the ecosystem.
“Many people in Nepal are not aware of the importance of owls. The presence of owls symbolises a balanced and healthy ecosystem,” said Raju Acharya, a conservationist working for owl preservation.