While Brenda and Joel are on their way to South America and Wilhelm, my boyfriend, is working with Orangutans I (Julia) am back in Germany. During one week of visiting my friends and family, I was one day out with some local ornithologists to help them with their work and I got to see Little Owls (Athene noctua).
The Little Owl is at risk of extinction in Bavaria, a part of Germany, because of the habitat loss, traditional orchards.
In particular, the removal of the landscape remains a problem. The Little Owl requires tree hollows as nesting sites and suitable hiding places for the day. The prey of little owl lives in field margins and hedges. Such habitat structures became rare in many places.
The project “Owl in the district of Bad Kissingen”, which is runned by these guys I was out with, has been very successful. After more than 30 years, in 2009, the little owl was breeding in the area I live again. In 2010, there were four, ten in 2011 and 2012 already 19 breeding pairs with chicks. And the success continues, on one day we were banding 36 chicks in order to track them later on. The Little Owl is coming back!
What happened? What has changed? Nature conservation sometimes just depends only on individual dedicated people. In the district artificial nest boxes were installed, the meadows are mowed in time, so that the owls find food and new orchards are planted. So my message for today, If we all do a little together we achieve a lot!