Nepal Owl Festival was held at Jiri in Dolakha district. The two-day festival was kicked off on Friday.
The objective of the festival was to promote conservation of owls and raise awareness about their significance in the nature.
Nepal’s National Red List of Birds (2015) has enlisted eight species of owls as endangered in the country.
According to the experts owls are persecuted because of their negative social impression, cultural beliefs, low-awareness about its importance in nature.
Owls are one of the highly vulnerable species of bird in the country with an estimated 2,000 being illegally trafficked from Nepal every year, a study has found.
Demands for Owls are very high in India and China. These species are traded to India for black magic and China for medicinal purpose.
There are 22 species of owls enlisted in Nepal. The owls are found from the low-lying Tarai plains to the mountainous regions of the country.
The Nepal Owl Festival drew huge crowds from school children to elderly citizens and government officials to bird conservationists from different parts of the country.
This was the seventh edition of the festival. Nepal is the third country in the world after Italy and the United States to organise a festival on owls.
Owls are said to be friends of farmers as one family of owls can eat nearly 3,000 rats, which would damage crops, in four months.
Despite being the threatened species, owl are not included in the list of protected birds in the country yet.