Another Bay Owl rediscovery



Researchers in southern Africa made an unanticipated discovery last spring. While on a trip in eastern Zaire, they encountered a Congo bay owl, the first such find since 1951. Until then, the only known specimen of the owl was a stuffed one at a Belgian zoo. The expedition, financed by the Wildlife Conservation Society, discovered the bird caught in a net set up for other research purposes. The owl wasn't hurt, and scientists released it after taking photographs and measurements. They are preparing an article to be published in a scientific journal. The bird was found in a grassland-forest region in eastern Zaire near the Burundi and Rwanda borders. Large pieces of the area have been set aside by Zaire's government for protection. But land management in the area is difficult for the government officials, according to WCS's John Hart. "Different groups (in the area) are coming into conflict with each other and nature," Hart told the New York Times. "It is difficult to find a strategy to insure. . . an area of such importance for biological diversity, while improving resources for people".

Ragupathy Kannan, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
Westark Community College
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72913
Tel: (501)788-7616
FAX: (501)788-7612

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