India - Save the Forest Owlet

  • By: Judith B.
  • Target: Ministry of Environment & Forests, India

India has 15 birds listed as “critically endangered” on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species, last updated December 2013. Among them is the forest owlet, a tiny elusive species confined to a small part of central India.  

Until 1997, the species was assumed to have been extinct for over a hundred years, and then it was spotted again. It might not be around for much longer. The species is found nowhere else in the world, and if India lets it disappear, that’s it gone forever.

The population numbers only a few hundred, at the very most – there may as few as 50 owlets remaining. Its forest habitat is now highly fragmented and under constant pressure from development and agriculture. Only about 10% of the owlet’s range is protected and once the forests are gone, the wildlife dependent on them goes too.

Ask the environment ministry to take immediate action to save the forest owlet and its habitat.

We the undersigned ask that you take definitive action to preserve the deciduous forests of Central India and the wildlife that depends on them, including the critically endangered forest owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti).

This species is endemic to India, being found nowhere else in the world, and needs protection as much if not more than the iconic tiger. Moreover, saving forests from development is crucial to the sustainable future of India’s environment, people and ultimately economy.

Please take steps to conserve this vital yet rapidly disappearing habitat and the endangered wildlife within it.

Thank you for your attention.


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