Snowy Owls Listed as a Vulnerable Species for the First Time in History
Zoo Keepers at Drusillas Park in Alfriston have been deeply saddened by the news that the Snowy Owl is now officially classified as a vulnerable species. Drusillas offers a home to four beautiful Snowy Owls and are proud to be doing their part to safeguard the species.
The ICUN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature) recently announced that as a result of factors such as Illegal hunting, climate change and increased collisions with vehicles and power lines; the beautiful Snowy Owl is now facing the possibility of extinction in the wild.
Drusillas’ Head Keeper, Mark Kenward, said: “Snowy Owls have been experiencing huge population declines, and the species has now had its global threat status upgraded. This means that the once common place bird now faces a high risk of extinction in the wild in the not too distant future. There is now an urgent need for conservation efforts to protect the species from further decline.”
“We are really sad to hear that these wonderful creatures are facing such a serious threat in the wild. Here at Drusillas we have 4 Snowy Owls; Zapper, Zephyr, Hope and Poppy. It hasn’t been common practice in zoos to introduce Snowy Owls into breeding programmes as there are so many of them. However, this could all quickly change if the species continues to decline in the wild. We can only hope this doesn’t happen.”
In the wild Snowy Owls are found in coastal areas, grasslands and tundra all around the Arctic. They are covered from head to toe in thick white feathers, which not only provide them with much needed insulation but also help them to camouflage themselves against the snow tundra landscapes.
Head Keeper, Mark Kenward, continued: “Here at Drusillas we will be continuing to try and raise awareness for the Snowy Owl. We encourage everyone to read up on the threats facing our wildlife and to join with organisations such as birdlife to take positive action towards saving our animals from extinction.”