Published on February 29th, 2012 | by James Johnson0
Obama Administration Wants To Kill Owls…To Save Owls
The Obama administration is struggling with quite the dilemma, in order to save the endangered spotted owl they may need to kill a bunch of barred owls.
Since 1990 the spotted owl has been on the threatened species list, largely because of the logging industry which has helped the owl’s population numbers fall by 40% in the last 25 years. However the owl’s decline can’t be solely blamed on that industry because it turns out the barred owl is making it hard for the spotted owl to survive.
Obama’s team has suggested that barred owls in “critical areas” for the spotted owl be killed while logging be allowed around and inside those areas to help safeguard against the possibility of wildfire.
While the idea of killing barred owls seems controversial at least one expert has proven that Spotted owls returned to their territories when the barred owl population had been removed.
In the meantime some wildlife experts believe that allowing for logging inside those critical areas may not be the best plan since no proof has been discovered to show that such actions are merited. That group might not have to worry since at least one logging industry group believes they couldn’t create many jobs by following logging guidelines in those protected areas.
Experts are still trying to determine how many barred owls could be captured and placed in captivity or relocated. At this time they do believe they can kill hundreds of the birds using shotguns. However as one scientist puts it:
“There are not enough shotguns. It would be just about like trying to wipe out coyotes.”
Do you think killing barred owls to protect the spotted owl population is the right move to make?