Harry Potter = Owl Extinction ?

Harry Potter Owl

Books and films have been blamed for many things over the course of human history, but it isn’t often they take the heat for a species’ demise. That is just the accusation facing the “Harry Potter” franchise however.

Jairam Ramesh, the minister for the environment of India, is claiming that the success of the “Harry Potter” franchise has decimated the nation’s owl population. In the novels from J.K. Rowling, an owl is presented to Potter on his 11th birthday and has a continued presence throughout the series as messengers for the characters. Mr. Ramesh believes the idea of presenting middle class children with owls as gifts has caught on outside of Rowling’s world, harming the owl population.

Wildlife tracking group Traffic, responsible for keeping tabs on global wildlife trading, believe the demise of the owls might be more related to their use in traditional rituals. The group says the owls are being slaughtered as part of the ritual rather than being handed out as birthday gifts to middle class children.

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