A government proposal to kill a half-million barred owls in Northwest sparks controversy

By Clare Marie Schneider
Oregon Public Broadcasting
April 8, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to kill roughly half a million barred owls to protect the spotted owl has conservationists and animal welfare advocates debating the moral issue of killing one species to protect another. Dozens of wildlife protection and animal welfare organizations signed a letter opposing the November proposal. A group of 75 organizations urged Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, to scrap what it calls a “reckless” plan. “Non-lethal management actions to protect spotted owls and their habitats should be made the priority action,” it read. But the USFWS says if no action is taken to cull the barred owl population, the northern spotted owl faces extinction. …To ensure the survival of the northern spotted owl, a threatened species, the service is proposing the mass removal of over 470,000 barred owls across California, Washington and Oregon over a three-decade span.

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