The Importance of Owl Conservation

Owl Conservation | Pigments by Liv

This week marks the launch of the first Pigments by Liv collection of 2021, the Owl Collection! A collection inspired by Holly, the Little Owl from Suffolk Owl Sanctuary. Whilst designing the collection, I’ve loved diving into the world of owls, so wanted to share why owl conservation is so important.

If you’d like to shop for the new owl collection, scroll to the bottom of the blog or simply navigate to the collections menu above! For now, let us understand the importance of owl conservation.

Why are owls important to the ecosystem?

If I’ve learned anything since starting Pigments by Liv, it’s that every single animal has an important part to play in their ecosystem. Maintaining biodiversity is about maintaining the balance between all living things. This means Owls are just as important as any other species.

Protecting an Apex Predator through Owl Conservation

However, as an apex predator, Owls do have a particularly important role to play in their respective habitats to maintain biodiversity. An apex predator, or an alpha predator, is the predator at the top of their food chain. They have no natural predators.
The importance of Owl Conservation | Pigments by Liv

These predators are determined by their trophic level. A trophic level is a position a species occupies in the food chain. Apex predators are typically at a level 4 or 5. Although this does not typically include humans because of our varied diets, it does include animals such as Orcas, Tigers, and of course, Owls!

Turns out we have quite a few Pigments by Liv collections inspired by apex predators.

Apex predators are important because they regulate a food chain using a top-down approach. For example, without Owls, the population of rats, sparrows, and other animals they typically prey on would be out of control. Nobody wants rats running riots! In animal conservation, a loss of an apex predator is known as mesopredator release.

What's so inspiration about the little owl?

All this is quite interesting, considering a Little Owl was the species of Owl that inspired the new collection. I say interesting because Little Owls aren’t native to the UK were successfully introduced from Europe in 1874 by Edmund Meade-Waldo.

Owl Art Print | Pigments by Liv

Little Owls were not originally part of the delicately balanced British Wildlife. Yet, unlike grey squirrels, they are not considered an invasive species, despite being non-native. This is because Little Owls seemed to have filled an unoccupied void in the local wildlife that hasn’t negatively impacted the ecosystem.

This is why I felt inspired by Little Owls. I always thought that biodiversity was so delicately balanced, instead, it’s beautifully imperfect and full of surprises. Just as beautiful as Little Owls. One of the cutest species of Owl in my opinion! Do you agree?

What’s the scientific name for the Little Owl?

The scientific name for a Little Owl is Athene noctua. A little sidenote of why Little Owls are quickly becoming my favourite Owl species is that there are also known as the owl of Minerva. Minerva, or as the Ancient Greeks referred to her, Athena. Who was a bit of a badass.

The Owl of Athena is a symbol of knowledge and wisdom. I love a bit of Greek Mythology; their stories and influence shaped a lot of the world we know today. It’s fascinating, and wisdom is something we can all aspire to! Especially when it comes to animal conservation, where education is so important.

The Owl of Minerva | Owl Conservation | Pigments by Liv

Why do we need owl conservation?

Although most Owl species found in UK and Europe are not listed by the IUCN as Critically Endangered, they still need our help. Overall, Owl populations are in decline, which means if we act now, they won’t join the other countless species struggling because of human impact.

Owls are striving to survive. In Britain, they are affected by habitat loss. For a breeding pair of Barn Owls to survive they need approximately 120 acres of natural grassland, not cut or grazed. Changes in agriculture and roads can be detrimental to Owls, 60% of known Barn Owl deaths occur on the roads.

Supporting Suffolk Owl Sanctuary

Owl conservation is the very reason the Owl Collection will donate 10% of all sales to Suffolk Owl Sanctuary.

“Established as a registered charity in 2001, the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary is based at Stonham Aspal in Suffolk, where it operates a comprehensive facility for the care & rehabilitation of owls from the region, and the promotion of owl conservation throughout the UK and beyond.”Suffolk Owl Sanctuary.

This sanctuary is very close to my heart, I used to visit a lot when I was younger as it was so close to my Grandparents house. I still have this adorable owl decoration my Aunt bought me from the gift shop last time we went. It adds a lovely pop of colour to the light switch in my room!

Shop the Pigments by Liv Owl Collection

If you, like me, love Owls and want to support Owl Conservation, then you can shop the NEW Owl Collection below! I’m super proud of how the design turned out, as I was feeling a bit nervous about the level of detail I wanted to achieve.

Think my favourite sustainable goodies might be the Owl Sweatshirt and Owl Water Bottle, but I’ll let you choose for yourself…

Thanks for caring about the planet and it’s beautiful animals,

Pigments by Liv Signature

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