Pot Plant Owl Threated in South Africa, Help Save It

Spotted Eagle Owl in South Africa

There is a certain Wild Spotted Eagle owl, the Pot Plant Owl, that has apparently become quite famous for making its nest in a potted plant on someone’s balcony in South Africa. As happens all over the world, however, this owl is now being threatened by development encroaching upon its natural habitat.

The protected wetland where this owl hunts for food is in the path of an eager developer and the local government in charge of making sure it is protected seems that it might help the developer (and leave this owl and other species out in the cold). Here’s more from a petition (link above) by Falcon Africa Safaris targeting MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza (GDARD):

Pot Plant Owl is the name of a wild Spotted Eagle Owl that nests in a potted plant on the balcony of a house in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is currently raising her chicks there for the third consecutive year.

Close by is a 30 hectare greenbelt (open land) with a protected wetland running through it. This is where Pot Plant Owl and her mate hunt for food. They live mostly on insects, rodents and small birds. The wetland has also been home to, amongst other things, the African Giant Bull Frog – an endangered species.

In January 2010, a developer brought in a bulldozer and began clearing the trees. The developer is requesting permission to build houses on this protected wetland. In South Africa, as in most of the world, developers have a habit of winning.

This is one of the last wetlands in a large area. According to South African law, wetlands are supposed to be protected, but the Goverment department in charge of enforcing this law appears to be in favour of the development.

Help protect this owl and other species living off this protected wetland by signing this petition. As of writing this, 18,771 people have signed it, getting close to its target of 20,000.

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Photo Credit: Spotted Eagle Owl in South Africa by pimgmx via flickr (CC license)

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