US Fish & Wildlife want to kill 500,000 owls

Don Ryan Steve Legge/AP
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry

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.

The proposal, published in November, garnered attention in recent days after dozens of wildlife protection and animal welfare organizations signed a letter opposing the plan.

In a March 25 letter responding to the 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.

The barred owl is crowding out its less aggressive relative, the northern spotted owl, in the Northwestern states, according to the USFWS. 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. The proposed action will also help prevent declines in the California spotted owls, another species facing competition from barred owls, it said.


What Are Your Thoughts?


Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!