A project by the hunters' federation for the breeding of barn owls has entered its third phase as the first two birds were paired and named Tyto and Alba, Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia said on Thursday.
The names derive from the scientific term for the species, Tyto alba. A livestream of the owls can be seen here.

Farrugia described the development as “an important step” in a project in favour of the country’s biodiversity, as the species is to be reintroduced to the wild through an initiative by the Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FKNK).

The minister also said that security in the Buskett area where the birds are kept will be improved thanks to security cameras to be supplied by the ministry. The investment will ensure the protection of the farmhouse and the birds while improving Buskett’s security overall.

Farrugia was speaking during a visit to the Razzett tal-Bagħal (Mule's Farmhouse), a site administered by the FKNK. He planted a number of indigenous seeds, including carob and aleppo pine collected from Buskett. 
Project coordinator Lucas Micallef said that Tyto and Alba’s behaviour would be monitored in the coming weeks. 

The barn owl project is supported by the Conservation of Wild Birds Fund for Voluntary Organisations. 

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