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Species promotion – Little Owl

Nesting aids and structures help this small owl

The Little Owl is one of the priority species for species promotion. Bird conservationists have been campaigning for the preservation of this small owl for years. While populations are steadily increasing in other countries close to the border, they remain small in Switzerland. Orchards with gnarled trees, and lots of natural cavities are important for breeding and migrating Little Owls. They find food in extensive agricultural areas with structures such as hedges and piles of branches or stones. Research findings indicate which habitats the Little Owl uses for its distribution, thereby helping to implement promotion measures in the right places.

Domain Conservation
Unit Species Recovery
Topic Species Recovery, Distribution Ecology, Habitat Promotion
Habitat farmland, semi-open farmland, meadows and pastures
Project start 2003
Project status ongoing
Project management Stephanie Michler Keiser
Project region Switzerland


Project partner(s)

Financial support

  • Ernst Göhner Stiftung
  • Aptenia Stiftung
  • Margarethe und Rudolf Gsell-Stiftung
  • Stiftung Dreiklang für ökologische Forschung und Bildung
  • Stotzer-Kästli-Stiftung



Species concerned

Bird species
Little Owl
In our country, the Little Owl has lived in the immediate vicinity of man for hundreds of years, often as a lodger in barns and ruins. In the rural population, it used to be regarded as the “death bird” because of its mysterious, nocturnal calls. With the ancient Greeks, it was the symbol of the ...
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Species Recovery link

Species Recovery

Wildlife conservation coordinates the development, improvement and dissemination of measures in favour of priority bird species that cannot be helped by habitat protection alone. Together with BirdLife Switzerland and the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the department also coordinates the “Species Recovery for Swiss Birds” programme.

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