Shooting Owls to Save Other Owls?
There are many folks in the Pacific Northwest who are not fans of the northern spotted owl. Twenty years ago environmentalists rallied around its dwindling numbers to get vast swaths of forest protected. Today some people argue that taking loggers out of those forests made them more susceptible to catastrophic fires. Others hail the protections as a landmark case for endangered species. Today the northern spotted owl numbers continue to dwindle. The latest plan calls for more protected area, which sounds great to me, but it also calls for the removal of hundreds of barred owls, an owl species that competes with the spotted owl and has proven itself more adaptable. When you hear ‘removal’ you might imagine some million-dollar owl trap used to round up the barred owls so they can be repatriated somewhere else, but no, they just shoot them.