The success of the Barn Owl Protection Project in the Jordan Valley for the second year

The success of the Barn Owl Protection Project in the Jordan Valley for the second year
11 April 2021

Palestine Society for Environment and Sustainable Development announced the success of the Barn Owl Protection Project for the second year in a row in the Jordan Valley, after the start of the bird's nesting season in late February.

The society said in a statement that the Barn Owl Protection Project for the year 2021 began a new curve of experience compared to its success last year, when it witnessed a great demand for the use of nesting boxes by the owls. The results of the boxes occupation reached 70-60% as the same pair of owls return to use the same box every season.

The society added that according to the study conducted during the previous years it showed that the owl is able to successfully nest in the boxes and occupy the boxes, especially in the breeding season. Therefore, the owl's nesting area is nearly free of rodents. Noting that the project seeks to provide assistance to farmers and birds alike, by avoiding pesticides, and producing natural crops so that they are given a free biological means to control rodents, while minimizing, as much as possible, the use of pesticides that harm the ecosystem.

This year 2021, the project included workshops for farmers who are part of the project and involving them in the process of checking boxes and cleaning them. Moreover, together they discuss advantages and problems they face and suggest solutions. In addition to installing new boxes for farmers with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation so that the boxes provide better conditions for the barn owl nesting.

The success of the project for the second year is added to the record of achievements that distinguished Palestine in its continuous work to protect birds, especially the Barn Owl. The results of the project showed the farmers' joy in protecting their crops and protecting the bird at the same time.

Since the launch of the project in year 2019, it aimed at conserving the barn owl, exchanging experiences among farmers in the Jordan Valley, organizing visits to schools to the places where nesting boxes have been placed, and implement field visits for different groups of society to the nesting sites in order to raise awareness and encourage scientific research. The project also seeks to change believes in part of the Arab community who see the owls as a bad omen.