Spot-bellied Eagle Owl Breeding Discovered in Maharashtra’s Pench Tiger Reserve

Spot-bellied Eagle Owl Breeding Discovered in Maharashtra’s Pench Tiger Reserve

Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Maharashtra boasts rich floral and faunal biodiversity, serving as a favorable breeding ground for the spot-bellied eagle owl, a lesser-known species of nocturnal bird.

Discovery of Spot-bellied Eagle Owl in Pench Tiger Reserve

Deputy director Prabhu Nath Shukla confirms the presence of spot-bellied eagle owl in Maharashtra Pench, supported by photographic evidence and observations indicating breeding activity.

Observations and Documentation

The initial evidence of a pair of forest eagle owls was observed in Saleghat range of Mansinghdeo Wildlife Sanctuary in 2018, followed by documented sightings by bird watchers and STPF members during a bird survey exercise in June 2023.

Habitat and Distribution

The spot-bellied eagle owl inhabits dense and moist deciduous forests with high canopy, often near water bodies. Observations indicate its preference for areas with thick vegetation, such as Surewani beat of Nagalwadi range in the buffer zone of Pench Tiger Reserve.

Behavior and Communication

Research reveals that the spot-bellied eagle owl, like other owl species, communicates through various calls for purposes such as territorial defense and mate attraction. These calls, characterized by low frequency, enable communication over long distances through dense vegetation.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs):

  1. Where was the spot-bellied eagle owl first observed in Maharashtra Pench?
    a) Saleghat range
    b) Arjuna Nala
    c) Surewani beat
    d) Nagalwadi range
    Answer: a) Saleghat range
  2. Who confirmed the presence of spot-bellied eagle owl in Maharashtra Pench?
    a) Ishita Khemariya
    b) Prabhu Nath Shukla
    c) KD Kuklare
    d) Shrikant Dhoble
    Answer: b) Prabhu Nath Shukla
  3. What is the habitat preference of spot-bellied eagle owl?
    a) Desert regions
    b) Dense evergreen forests
    c) Grasslands
    d) Polar regions
    Answer: b) Dense evergreen forests
  4. How do spot-bellied eagle owls communicate over long distances?
    a) High-frequency calls
    b) Visual signals
    c) Low-frequency calls
    d) Telepathy
    Answer: c) Low-frequency calls
  5. What software was used to calculate the frequency of spot-bellied eagle owl calls?
    a) Photoshop
    b) Raven Pro
    c) Illustrator
    d) Audacity
    Answer: b) Raven Pro