Barred owls being killed to protect spotted owls

The destruction of natural habitat has always been the biggest threat to endangered species such as the spotted owl.

But now there are concerns that the invasive barred owls are also the cause of the decline of the northern spotted owl in Northern California.

An experiment is underway in the forest of Northern California. How would killing invasive barred owls stop the decline of northern spotted owls?

So far, biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have shot 26 barred owls on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation northeast of Arcata, Calif.

The barred owls, a species which migrated from the East in the 1950s, are drawn in by a digital caller and then shot with a shotgun. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife plans to spend $3.5 million from now until 2019 to remove 3,600 barred owls along the Pacific Northwest.

Here in British Columbia, where the northern spotted owl is also under threat of extinction, the provincial government earlier this year approved the shooting of barred owls. 

h/t: CBC 

Photo credit: Shane Jeffries/USFS 

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