Owl in the Box - Conserving Cape Towns Owls
As top predators, the presence or absence of raptors from an area can tell us how healthy the environment is. If raptors are rare or absent it means that the balance of nature has been disturbed.
Only healthy environments can support good populations of raptors. Today there are many areas where raptor numbers have declined, and some species may disappear completely if we do not take action to conserve them.
Owls are especially vulnerable in urban areas like Cape Town as a result of rapid habitat loss and poisonings.
South Africa has 12 owl species varying in size from the tiny Pearl-spotted Owlet to the imposing Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl (previously called a Spotted Eagle-Owl). Owls are found in many habitats, from bushveld to grasslands, on cliff-faces, along river-banks and in our cities. They differ from other birds of prey in one very important way – they are nocturnal and hunt at night.
Cape Town has several owl species including the Spotted Eagle Owl, Barn Owl, Cape Eagle Owl, Marsh Owl and Wood Owl. Grass Owls, that once occurred on the Cape Flats are locally exctinct.
What can you do to help protect Owls?
(1) Dont use chemical rat posions that kill down the food chain. If you must use poison, products such as Racumen, that do not cause secondary animal deaths, are the only one's you should use.
(2) Build or buy an Owl box, and put it up in your garden.