With the high mortality rate of owls and, as one of the most common wildlife casualties brought into veterinary practices, MTN says it is launching a conservation partnership with the Owl Rescue Centre to provide safe homes for birds nesting in MTN towers. Photo: REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo
With the high mortality rate of owls and, as one of the most common wildlife casualties brought into veterinary practices, MTN says it is launching a conservation partnership with the Owl Rescue Centre to provide safe homes for birds nesting in MTN towers. Photo: REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo

MTN partners with Owl Rescue Centre to protect birds nesting in cell towers

By BR Reporter Time of article published Aug 24, 2021

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With the high mortality rate of owls and, as one of the most common wildlife casualties brought into veterinary practices, MTN says it is launching a conservation partnership with the Owl Rescue Centre to provide safe homes for birds nesting in MTN towers.

MTN said the launch of the #OwlNetwork project was aimed at securing urban homes for barn owls and will see 100 boxes installed in network towers. MTN barn owl boxes were being made from recycled materials and the little houses would be installed in high-density areas across Johannesburg North and West, with the other provinces to follow.

These boxes are durable and can be used for several years without any maintenance being necessary. It would provide the owls with a sheltered spot to nest that would not interfere with the network and technicians.

“MTN has a responsibility to protect the environment so that our customers and communities can live in harmony with their surroundings,” said Jacqui O'Sullivan, MTN SA's executive for corporate affairs.

O'Sullivan said MTN decided to take active steps when it became clear that there were growing numbers of Barn Owl families nesting in MTN towers.

Danelle Murray, the co-founder and director of Owl Rescue Centre, said the top of towers and often, the inside floor areas were used for nests.

“This delays maintenance work on towers as eggs and young birds need to be removed before technicians can access the tower cables and equipment. Owl houses provide a safe nesting site, which in turn will help grow the owl population in suburbs, creating a natural solution to rodent control,” she said.

“We thank MTN for hearing the call for corporates to do more to help protect, rehabilitate and grow the populations of these wonderful – but increasingly threatened – species. It is imperative nature and animals are protected in our interconnected and interdependent existence,” said Murray.

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