‘All I see are ghosts’: fear and fury as the last spotted owl in Canada fights for survival

By Leyland Cecco
The Guardian
May 26, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jared Hobbs

…For thousands of years, northern spotted owls, a subspecies of the spotted owl, lived in southern British Columbia, their range extending through Washington, Oregon and into northern California. In Canada, as many as 1,000 owls probably once lived in the cathedral-like forests. But generations of industrial development and logging have fractured the landscape and gutted their habitat. When Jared Hobbs began working for the provincial government as a species-at-risk biologist in the 1990s, there were an estimated 40 breeding pairs, but the numbers kept dropping. He noticed the adult owls were living into old age but the juvenile owls were dying before they could acquire a territory of their own and produce young. …In recent years, when the young owls left the nest to seek out new food sources and establish their own territories, they had to negotiate a patchwork of forest broken up by cleared areas or development. 

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