Critically Endangered Forest Owlet in Western Ghats
Researchers have found the critically endangered ‘Forest Owlet’ in the northern part of the Western Ghats around 100 km from Mumbai in Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary in Maharashtra’s Palghar district. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has named this bird as the one facing a high risk of extinction (critically endangered) and the current population has been estimated at less than 250.
Till now, Forest Owlet was known endemic to Satpuda mountain ranges in central India. Its discovery in the Western Ghats has brought new hope about its survival. This clearly highlights the need to conserve crucial avian habitats such as Tansa and other areas which are potential homes of Forest Owlet.
The place where it was located is a dry deciduous forest, with open patches, which is very similar to the typical Forest Owlet habitat in the Satpuda ranges. However, this location is partially degraded due to human disturbances.