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    Author(s): Paula A. Enriquez; Heimo Mikkola
    Date: 1997
    Source: In: Duncan, James R.; Johnson, David H.; Nicholls, Thomas H., eds. Biology and conservation of owls of the Northern Hemisphere: 2nd International symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-190. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 160-166.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: North Central Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (105.05 KB)

    Description

    The public knowledge of owls in Central America and Africa was compared based on 162 interviews in Costa Rica and 147 in Malawi. General knowledge of owls included: species, common names, habitats, food, and calls, and was quite similar in both study areas. In Malawi, more than 90 percent of the respondents connected owls with bad luck, witchcraft, and death. In Costa Rica, only 4 percent associated owls with bad omens and 3 percent listed them as frightening. Strong negative superstitions about owls are contributing to the unnecessary killing of owls in Africa, but they are also killed in Central America. Further education of the general public is needed on how beneficial owls are, and that the superstitious beliefs and myths about them are groundless.

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    Citation

    Enriquez, Paula A.; Mikkola, Heimo. 1997. Comparative study of general public owl knowledge in Costa Rica, Central America and Malawi, Africa. In: Duncan, James R.; Johnson, David H.; Nicholls, Thomas H., eds. Biology and conservation of owls of the Northern Hemisphere: 2nd International symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-190. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 160-166.

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