They Wish to Cull Barred Owls Once more


Barred owl, 5 Might 2005 (photograph by nameless)

30 November 2023

Generally historical past repeats itself.

In 2013 US Fish & Wildlife proposed an experiment: Kill 3,600 barred owls (Strix varia) within the Pacific Northwest to maintain them away from their shut relative, the northern noticed owl (Strix occidentalis). Barred owls had spent 100 years increasing westward to the Pacific coast the place they grew to become extra profitable than their habitat-constrained noticed cousins and even interbred with them. Although barred owls are native to North America and moved west on their very own, USFW dubbed them “invasive” and proposed killing them wherever discovered close to noticed owls.

Nationwide feedback on the culling proposal had been overwhelmingly unfavorable however native feedback had been in favor. The experiment went ahead and barred owls had been killed in line with plan. The ultimate paper describes barred owl “elimination”.

Barred owls detected in therapy areas had been eliminated utilizing 12-gauge shotguns and well-established discipline protocols (20, 22, 23). A complete of two,485 barred owls had been faraway from therapy segments of 5 totally different examine areas through the experiment (Desk 1). The imply variety of barred owls eliminated per 12 months was extremely variable amongst examine areas, starting from a low of 15.8 barred owls per 12 months in Inexperienced Diamond (GDR), to a excessive of 251.5 barred owls per 12 months within the Oregon Coast Vary (COA).

— FWS.GOV Research Outcomes: Invader elimination triggers aggressive launch in a
threatened avian predator

The 5 areas the place elimination occurred, referred to as “therapy” areas, and the variety of barred owls killed are proven within the screenshot of Desk 1.

Desk 1 from FWS Barred Owl Elimination examine

Curiously at two of the 5 examine websites — Hoopa-Willow Creek and Inexperienced Diamond, California — the killing of 494 barred owls made little to no distinction for the noticed owls. Click on right here for the graph that exhibits this.

Nonetheless, USFW declared the experiment successful and lately drafted a brand new “Barred Owl Administration” proposal to proceed killing barred owls and increase the challenge additional in California. The draft is at the moment in its 60-day public remark interval: November 17, 2023 – January 16, 2024 throughout which we’re free to precise our opinion.

Learn in regards to the proposal and obtain related paperwork at Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public touch upon draft technique to handle invasive barred owls. Click on right here to submit a remark on-line or paper-mail your feedback to the tackle under. The remark interval ends on 16 Jan 2024.

Public Feedback Processing; Attn: Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2022-0074
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: PRB/3W
5275 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041–380

p.s. Right here’s what I considered this concept 10 years in the past. I haven’t modified my thoughts.


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