Tree Frog Forestry News

Owl vs. owl: Should humans intervene to save a species?

By Phuong Le
Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
December 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As he stood amid the thick old-growth forests in the coastal range of Oregon, Dave Wiens was nervous. Before he trained to shoot his first barred owl, he had never fired a gun. …he squeezed the trigger and the owl fell to the forest floor, its carcass adding to a running tally of more than 2,400 barred owls killed so far in a controversial experiment by the U.S. government to test whether the northern spotted owl’s rapid decline in the Pacific Northwest can be stopped by killing its aggressive East Coast cousin. Wiens is the son of a well-known ornithologist… and did his graduate research in owl interactions… “I also feel like from a conservation standpoint, our back was up against the wall. We knew that barred owls were outcompeting spotted owls and their populations were going haywire,” said Wiens, a biologist who still views each shooting as “gut-wrenching”

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