Site Occupancy of Forest Owlets in Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra

The Forest Owlet continues to surprise us. Ever since its rediscovery in 1997, it has appeared in various new locations. Till 2014, the Forest Owlet was reported from dry deciduous teak forests of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. Just when it was being hailed as a species being restricted to Central India, it was spotted by two bird-watchers from Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary of Palghar District in Western Maharashtra. Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary is located at about 70 km to Mumbai and is one of the popular places for Mumbai’s bird-watchers. That it should be reported as late as 17 years after is rediscovery, from a well-visited place near Mumbai, adds to the enigma of this species. We are carrying out a systematic survey of the species in the Tansa region to understand its site occupancy and habitat selection. The survey is being supported by Maharashtra Forest Department.