Though it’s not directly declared but Socho is a very good candidate & considered the national animal of Aruba. The national animal of Aruba is commonly known as the Burrowing Owls. The Aruban Burrowing Owl was nominated as the Aruba’s National Bird in 2012. It belongs in the genus Athene, the family of Strigidae (True owls) & in the kingdom of Animalia. The Burrowing Owls are much loved by the native islanders and appear on Aruba’s currency and postal stamps and that is why it’s considered Aruba’s national animal.
One of the national symbols of Aruba adopted as a national symbol in the year 2012. The Burrowing Owls is lives throughout open landscapes of North and South America. Normally the Burrowing owls live in grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts, or any other open dry area with low shrubbery. The population of Burrowing Owls is greatly diminished in the last few decades. Though as per ICUN this bird is decreasing but not in the endangered list but now in locally it’s measured as endangered which estimate not more than 200 pairs remaining. (ICUN, 2012; DCNA 2015)
Facts about Aruba’s national animal
- Common Name: Socho or Burrowing Owl
- Scientific Name: Athene cunicularia
- Found in: Argentina; Aruba; Bahamas; Belize; Bolivia, Brazil; Canada; Chile; Colombia
- Habitat: Ground in areas of cactus scrub and dry forest
- Main Food: Insects and rodents (mice)
- Body Length: 19-28 cm
- Body Span: 50.8-61 cm
- Weight: 140-250 gm
- Current Population: Approximately 200 pairs
- Conservation Status: declined significantly, locally endangered
- Average Life Span: 9-10 years
Burrowing Owl, the national animal symbol of Aruba has long legs, large & yellow eyes lacks ear tufts and prominent white eyebrows. The body is Buffy-colored with the upperparts being brown with white spots. Under parts is light brown to white with some brown spotting and barring. The Burrowing owls usually lay three to six eggs that are incubated for 28 days and produce after 42 days.
Many conservation efforts are underway to protect the Burrowing Owl & the Aruba Birdlife Conservation foundation playing the vital role of this conservation effort.