Half a million owls to be shot in the US: what happened

Bylim Olena

Half a million owls to be shot in the US: what happened
Spotted owl. Source: Simon Rizzi/pexels.com

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a plan to rid the North Pacific of 500,000 invasive owls that pose a threat to native protected species, including Northern Spotted Owls.

The owls, which are native to the east coast of the United States, were introduced to the North Pacific in the 1950s. Since then, they have spread rapidly and now outnumber northern spotted owls in Washington, Oregon, and California, Newsweek writes.

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Owls pose a threat to Northern Spotted Owls because they are more aggressive and have a more varied diet, eating everything from insects and amphibians to fish and other birds. They are also larger and more territorial than native owls, which means they displace Northern Spotted Owls by disturbing their nesting sites, competing with them for food, and even attacking them when they get too close.

In areas where owls are found in greater numbers, the Northern Spotted Owl population is rapidly declining. They are now listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, with populations declining by 35 to 80 percent over the past 20 years.

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To save northern spotted owls from being attacked by owls, the FWS plans to shoot about 500,000 owls over the next 30 years. This plan should begin as early as 2025.

The plan has received the support of some experts who believe that this is the only way to save the Northern Spotted Owl population. However, other experts have expressed concern about this plan because it involves the killing of protected species.

As a reminder, a dog found a rare animal in Africa that was thought to be extinct.

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