Forest Owlet

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Forest Owlet

Forest OwletOriginal.jpg

Character Data
Japanese Name: モリコキンメフクロウ
Romanised Name: Morikokinmefukurou
First Featured in: Kemono Friends (2015 Game)
Animal Data
Scientific Name: Athene blewitti
Distribution: Unknown
Diet: Carnivore
Average Lifespan in the Wild: Unknown
Read More: Forest owlet
Conservation Status: Status iucn3.1 EN.svg.png
Forest Owlet Nexon Game

Forest Owlet is a friend who first appeared in Kemono Friends (2015 Mobile Game).

Appearance

The Friend has brown hair with light brown and dark brown accents, with a tan mark in front. She has yellow eyes. Her jacket has white fluff, a light brown front that fades to brown, white cuffs, and brown buttons. She holds a wooden staff with a green ribbon. Her tail shares the brown colors of her hair. She has white leggings and tan shoes with brown tips.

In Real Life

The forest owlet is a rare species of owl that had been considered extinct for over a century, having been erroneously given the distinction in the late 1800s and not modified until its rediscovery in 1997. Forest owlets inhabit a limited and fragmented range in the deciduous forests of central India and, despite not being extinct, are nevertheless in a precarious and threatened position as a species.

Smaller and stockier than most other owls, the forest owlet is nevertheless a predatory bird that makes its nests in tree cavities and preys upon rodents, lizards, insects, and other avians. Its plumage is fairly unremarkable, mostly grayish-brown in coloration and with some barring on its wings, while its eyes are a striking lemon yellow. Despite its short and plump build, its talons and head are remarkably oversized. Unlike most other owls, it is a diurnal bird that prefers to actively hunt during the daytime. It is even known to sunbathe in the proper weather.

A forest owlet, wide-eyed and stirring during the daytime.

Forest owlets are thought to communicate with one another by way of head bobbing and tail flicks, but the species's rarity makes research difficult. Females typically produce two eggs between October and March, which are protected by the mother from various threats -- sometimes including the father himself -- until they are able to fend for themselves. Their preferred habitats are drier forested areas, but due to human pressures, some populations have been forced to take up residence in wetter forests instead.

Formerly designated Extinct, then Critically Endangered, the forest owlet is modernly considered to be "Endangered" by the IUCN after more extant populations were discovered in various central Indian forests. Despite these revisions, however, they are very much threatened and it is estimated that less than 1000 individual owlets are alive today. They face a variety of threats, not the least of which has been deforestation and habitat destruction due to a changing India. Superstitious beliefs held by local populations also result in the needless deaths for the bird and the theft of its eggs. Filial cannibalism has also been observed, further increasing the ill-fated species's high mortality rate and compromising the integrity of their continued existence. The government of India has given the forest owlet full protection and efforts have been made to raise local awareness of their difficult situation, but these rare and unique animals have a long road ahead to survival in the modern world.

References

"Forest owlet" (On-line), Our Endangered World. Accessed January 25, 2019 at http://www.ourendangeredworld.com/species/birds-bats/forest-owlet/

BirdLife International 2018. Heteroglaux blewitti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T22689335A132251554. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22689335A132251554.en. Downloaded on 25 January 2019.

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