Creating owl friendly children, who go on to be owl friendly adults, living within owl friendly environments

About Us

The Township Owl Project ( is an NPO 164 519 based in South Africa. When the project started 12 years ago it was in response to a call from the South African Department of Health. Two children had died in Sebokeng after ingesting rat poison. Sebokeng residents had resorted to using rat poison (aldicarb) to control the rodent problem. EcoSolutions then formulated the Township Owl Project ( as a means to assist in the management of rodent numbers in a healthy way.

After the success of the project in Sebokeng, the project was rolled out in other townships such as Alexandra, Tshepisong, Soweto, Thokoza and Katlehong and was since registered as an NPO.

What we do
The vision of the project is to create owl friendly children who go on to become owl friendly adults living within owl friendly environments. 

How we do what we do
The project works in two parts. Part one is the educational aspect and the second is the owl release program.

Education is an important pillar of the project. Our teams go out to participating schools to give presentations on owls and their role in an ecosystem. These presentations are also used to address any remnant myths believed by the people in the township. 

The release program happens after school children have signed up and received permission from their parents to be involved with the project. The release program takes place over a three-week long period. For the first 20 days, Barn Owls (Tyto alba) are placed into an owl release box where they will be fed daily by the school children. The school children take up the role of surrogate parents to the owls. After the 20 days, the owls are released from an owl release box into the school premises. The science behind that is that the owls will use the owl box as a breeding site and they will remain around the school, where they will hunt for rodents.
For the week after the owls have been released the school children will continue to place food for the owls to ensure that they do not leave the area.

A family of Barn Owls can eat up to 2500 rats in a year. This could make a substantial difference in a community with high rodent population.

All the owls that are released through the project are owls we receive through rehabilitation centres and SPCA branches across Gauteng.