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Fighting an Unethical Barred Owl Removal Plan

September 18, 2013 | Wildlife Law Program

Another Example of How The New North American Wildlife Conservation "Ethic" Is A Failure:

Killing Owls to Save Owls!?!


      Apparently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) now believes that the greatest threat to the Northern Spotted owl is no longer the timber industry, but instead comes from another owl--the Barred owl!  As such, the FWS recently issued a Record of Decision approving a Barred owl removal plan that once again extends the government's growing commitment to shooting animals as a misguided attempt to save them (or in this case the Northern Spotted owl) from extinction.  Under this plan, as many as 3,600 Barred owls will be shot over the next 4 years.  Friends of Animals believes this plan is the wrong decision for several reasons:


  • The plan ignores the simple fact that humans--and most notably the timber industry--continue to be the biggest threat to Pacific Northwest species like the Northern Spotted owl, the Marbled murrelet, and others.  Astonishingly, the FWS announced this crazy plan to kill Barred owls just weeks after Oregon's congressional delegation announced plans to push for more logging in the Pacific Northwest! 
  • The Plan shows that the Endangered Species Act--which is intended to protect species and ecosystems--is not working as currently implemented.  Human manipulation of the Pacific Northwest ecosystem has resulted in far too limited habitat to support the Northern Spotted owl.  With the Barred owl moving into its range, there is simply not enough habitat being protected by FWS to help the Northern Spotted owl survive and adapt.  The FWS should be using the ESA to reverse this trend by better protecting and restoring all owl habitat.
  • The plan is not sustainable.  Overtime new Barred owls will reoccupy this area and replace the ones killed by FWS!  Does the FWS intend to go on killing owls indefinitely?
  • The shooting of any animal is ethically and morally wrong!


Friends of Animals intends to fight this ridiculous plan.  Today, we fired the first shot by sending a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to FWS in an attempt to obtain all of the agency's documents related to this decision.  You can read the request here.  When those documents are provided to us, we will share them on this website.  We are also currently contemplating possible legal action against the FWS to stop this plan before Barred owls are killed.  If a lawsuit is filed, we will also update this website--so check back regularly! 




Humans are the threat here, not Barred Owls. Leave them alone.

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