2,504Grants to


Forest Owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 12254922

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 12254922) - Forest Owlet - Awarded $12,500 on February 15, 2013

Wildlife Research and Conservation Society (WRCS) is a Non-Profit and Non-Government Organisation based in Maharashtra State of India. WRCS was established in September 2005 by individuals who are committed for the cause of conservation of wildlife and environment in the country. WRCS Mission: a. to have a dynamic organizational program that vitalizes the attitude of general public in favour of wildlife and biodiversity conservation, b.to involve local community in biodiversity conservation at the grass roots level and empower them to influence decision-making on conservation issues, c. to mainstream wildlife and biodiversity conservation in decision-making processes at the local, regional and national level. WRCS Objectives: a. to carry out research and documentation in the area of wildlife, ecology, biodiversity and forestry b. to create awareness about depleting forests, wildlife and biodiversity among the people and the government through workshops and training programs, c. to mobilize people in support of conservation of forests, wildlife and biodiversity. d. to implement projects for conservation of forests, wildlife and biodiversity by itself or in cooperation with the government and like-minded non-government institutions, e. to carry out projects for afforestation and development of wastelands The proposed project seeks to carry out field-based scientific research on conservation of Forest Owlet, a Critically Endangered bird species found in India. The species is not found outside India and is endemic to the country. It was first described in 1882 from Eastern India. Between 1882 to 1884, seven more specimens of this bird were collected from Cenrtal India. After 1884, there were no more records of the bird for almost 100 years and the bird was thought to be extinct. In 1997, Dr. Pamela Rasmussen of Smithsonian Institute came to India to search for the bird and was successful in locating 2 individuals. After the re-discovery, a few more surveys were conducted by BNHS as well as by our organisation. Dr. Prachi Mehta and her team conducted an extensive survey in 5 states of Central India and found the Forest Owlet only from 2 States. It is suspected to be locally extinct from its previously known habitats in Eastern India because of deforestation and habitat loss. Currently, the Forest Owlet is reported from less than 10 locations from India. The Forest Owlet inhabits dry deciduous teak forests in Central India. Our survey reported 2 new locations of the Forest Owlet in Madhya Pradesh in teak forests that are worked for timber logging. There is no information on ecological factors important for survival of the Forest Owlet and the impact of timber logging on this species. The proposed project will study population, demography and ecology of this rare species and plan for long-term survival of this critically endangered species in India.

Project 12254922 location - India, Asia