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Owls 'important' for environment, biodiversity - Kuwaiti team
October 8, 2018, 3:14 pm
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Owls, with their unique features and abilities, are very important for the environment and biodiversity, said a number of Kuwaiti officials and enthusiasts dedicated to the protection and preservation of the nocturnal birds.

In this regard, head of the "Q8 Owl Team" Osama Al­Enizi told KUNA on Monday that such birds are very vital for preserving the bio system. He said that the seven species of owls in the country maintain ecological balance and the natural biological cycle through the consumption of rodents and other animals.

The "Q8 Owl Team"Íž first of its kind in the Middle East, mainly focuses on protecting the bird from harm and making sure that their numbers would not dwindle drastically, affirmed A­Enizi. Meanwhile, Anwar Al­Rifae ­­ deputy head of the team founded in 2016 ­­ said that some eastern cultures have misplaced believes about owls, indicating that the birds were always associated with bad omen and unfortunate events.

The team seeks to debunk such views and show the valuable nature of owls, said Al­Rifae who reaffirmed that the Team main goal is to protect the bird from abuse. On the services offered by the Team, he said it provides assistance to those who wish to acquire owls legally, adding that they also focus on preventing shady purchases of owls, whether it was online or elsewhere.

He pointed out that the team also offeres to train newly­acquired owls, as well as treat those injured in hunting mishaps. On the other hand, the head of the Kuwait 'Environmental Lenses Team' Rashed Al­Haji warned of the decreasing number of certain owls in Kuwait, which came due to the destruction of the environment, the elimination of food resources, and the illegal trade of owl chicks.

Al­Haji affirmed that necessary actions should be undertaken to prevent harming owls or else the birds will become endangered in Kuwait. In regards to the best measures to protect owls, Director of Biodiversity Conservation Department at Environment Public Authority (EPA) Abdullah Al­Zaidan said that laws in Kuwait prevented the illegal trade of animals and birds as well as causing harm to any helpless creature.

Adequate punishment should include a year­long prison sentence, a fine between KD 500 to 5,000 or both, stressed Al­Zaidan who indicated that the EPA would regularly launch campaigns and inspections to protect and preserve rare animals and birds, including owls.

Source: KUNA

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