US Govt’s Controversial Move to Kill 1 Owl Species to Save Another

US Govt’s Controversial Move to Kill 1 Owl Species to Save Another

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The US Government initiated a controversial experiment in 2015 to protect the species of Northern spotted owl that has been on a decline in the Pacific Northwest. Spotted Owls are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1990.

The program is essentially killing another larger and more aggressive population of Barred owls, native to East Coast in order to remove the competitors for spotted owls in the areas.

Its believed that Barred owls competed with Spotted owls for food and space thus displacing them in some areas.

In a last- ditch effort, federal officials consider this way as their best shot to get the population back.

12-gauge shotguns are being used in picking off invasive barred owls to see whether the native birds return to their nesting habitat.

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The program is essentially killing another larger and more aggressive population of Barred owls, native to East Coast in order to remove the competitors for spotted owls in the areas. Its believed that Barred owls competed with Spotted owls for food and space thus displacing them in some areas.

In a last-ditch effort, federal officials consider this way as their best shot to get the population back. 12-gauge shotguns are being used in picking off invasive barred owls to see whether the native birds return to their nesting habitat.

With more than 2,400 barred owls shot and killed since 2015, The project has not only received criticism but also raised some vital concerns. Not-for-profit organisations working for wildlife preservation have got involved in the protest.

One such being ‘Friends of Animals’ has actively questioned the legality of the experiment and Michael Harris, Wildlife Law Program Director believes that the government should focus on what people are doing to the environment and protect habitats rather than scapegoating barred owls.

In Canada, officials have also tried removing barred owls to help spotted owls as part of a test. In 2007, they launched a captive breeding program in British Columbia to help restore the population of spotted owls.

While some are willing to take whatever action needed to preserve one species, one can't help but ask, ‘Should humans intervene to stave off potential extinction of a species?’

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