Campaign appeals to public to detect and safeguard owls

Campaign appeals to public to detect and safeguard owls


Posted 14th March by Peter Byrne


A major new campaign has launched which is appealing to the public to detect and safeguard owls in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The new campaign, Owl Watch, has attracted the support of the leading nature writer Miriam Darlington, the author of 2018's critically acclaimed Owl Sense, who said the campaign was of 'national importance'.

She said: "Any public involvement of this sort has massive ripple effects for well-being and increased knowledge, and ultimately impacts beneficially on the protection of species."

"Looking for owls is also a brilliant adventure, whether you’re an experienced bird watcher or not. Owl Watch is a great way to engage more with the natural world around you, and owls capture our imagination like no other creature."

Alice Crosby, Project Officer at The Wild Watch, said: "Numbers of owls are falling and nationally there is very little data on where they are. We’re asking people to pick up our postcards which will be in GP surgeries, shops and in school book bags across Nidderdale AONB, and return them Freepost to tell us where they see or hear an owl."

The Wild Watch project was made possible with money raised by National Lottery players and runs free professional training for volunteers who are looking to acquire the natural history skills they need to collect data on the threatened species.

The recent UK-wide 'State of Nature Report' found there had been a 50 per cent decline in Britain's wildlife in recent years, with one in 10 species facing the prospect of extinction.

The Wild Watch has released a YouTube film with its Youth Patron, 13-year-old Zach Haynes, which explained the ways to identify the Barn Owl, Tawny Owl, and Little Owl.

Zach said: "You can hear owls more often than see them so we want people to learn their calls. Everyone is familiar with the ‘twit-twoo’ of the Tawny Owl, but female Short Eared Owls for example make a ‘ree-yow’ call, and the Little Owl can sound a bit like a small dog barking, a ‘wherrow wherrow’. It’s actually a really fun way to get children engaged with nature and help safeguard one of our best-loved creatures."

Alice Crosby, Project Officer at The Wild Watch, said: "Numbers of owls are falling and nationally there is very little data on where they are. We’re asking people to pick up our postcards which will be in GP surgeries, shops and in school book bags across Nidderdale AONB, and return them Freepost to tell us where they see or hear an owl."

Image courtesy of Mike Whorley Photography 





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