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13 August 2021, 09:37

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The fish owl is one of the rarest birds in the world. There are 300-400 pairs left in Russia, 80-100 pairs – in Japan. There are populations in the PRC and DPRK, the number of which is unknown.

IN metropolitan zoo brought three chicks of a fish owl. They were placed in the reproduction center of rare species of animals of the Moscow Zoo near Volokolamsk. The birds came from Kunashir Island as part of a conservation program for this bird species.

“The main task of the Moscow Zoo in the conservation of the fish owl is the creation of an artificial population. The species is dying out, and guaranteed survival is impossible even in the reserve. One sudden big crisis (for example, a massive illness) can destroy the entire species forever, ”said Svetlana Akulova, General Director of the Moscow Zoo.

In the future, it is planned to create breeding pairs from chicks. There was already one fish owl in the center, brought in in 2019. This is a two-year-old female named Filya. Among the new chicks there are two males and one female, so the zoologists have a chance to solve the problem.

The new chicks were named Kusaka, Brosak and Lezhak. The names were chosen in accordance with how they behave in incomprehensible situations. It took the birds two or three days to get used to the new territory, at this time they ate little, but then their appetite returned again.

All four fish owls of the Moscow Zoo are now in non-exhibition enclosures, which means that visitors will not be able to see them.

Chicks were selected exclusively from artificial nests that were outside the protected areas, as well as where there were two chicks. This is fundamentally important, since in the wild, the second chick dies from cold, exhaustion, or is even eaten by its parents in case of extreme hunger. Therefore, the staff took the smallest of the pair.

First offspring since 2005: chicks of a rare bustard hatched at the Moscow Zoo Polar owls have offspring at the Moscow Zoo

The fish owl is one of the rarest birds in the world. In Russia there are 300-400 pairs left, in Japan – 80-100 pairs. There are also populations in the PRC and DPRK, the number of which is not available. The extinction of the species is primarily associated with a reduction in the food supply. The bird feeds on fresh fish from running water, and this water is decreasing. In various territories, the number of fish owls has decreased by two to four times over the past decades.

To save the fish owl, nature reserves are created, artificial nests are hung. In 2017, a program for the conservation of the fish owl was adopted, which brought together specialists in the salvation of the species. Their tasks include the development of methods for keeping and breeding a fish owl in captivity (selection of breeding pairs, working out feeding rations, arranging enclosures that are most suitable for birds, veterinary services, transportation). As a result, the prerequisites must be created for the preservation and reintroduction of the fish owl – if necessary, return back to nature.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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