Friends of Owls aka Ullu Mere Dost Workshop#1 in Melghat

"Friends of Owls" also known as "Ullu Mere Dost" is our outreach program on conservation of owls. This outreach program is a synthesis of our long-term research on Forest Owlet, Spotted Owlet, Jungle Owlet, Scops Owl, Eagle Owl, Brown Fish Owl, Mottled Wood Owl, Barn Owl and other owl species in Central India. While field research is very essential in understanding ecology of the species, the support of local communities is equally important in planning long-term conservation strategies for owls in the landscape. Under the banner of Friends of Owls, we are reaching out to various audience in different ways. This workshop was organised in November 2019 at Melghat. The guest of honor was Mrs. Satyafula Solanke, Range Forest Officer and other staff of Melghat. We also honored Mr. Faltu Kasdekar and Mr. Nandram Kasdekar for their in-depth knowledge on owls and their support for our work. Our ecological research is shared with the local communities and field staff in a manner that is easy to comprehend and is interesting for them to be curious to know more. We are happy to observe that the owl facts shared during the workshop was brilliantly sponged up by the younger participants who showcased in through their splendid owl paintings. sketches! To raise a positive profile of the species among locals villagers, we have trained local men and women in making owl-themed handicrafts so that they can earn an income through the species and this may help in developing a bond with the species. And the cherry on top was the musical play by our team. The play was conceptualized, directed and enacted by our local field team and was thoroughly entertaining. We thank Raptor Research and Conservation Foundation (RRCF, Mumbai) for their continued support for the project. We thank Melghat Tiger Reserve and Maharashtra Forest Department for field support. More on owls soon!