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Feds to start shooting barred owls
Federal wildlife officials plan to dispatch hunters into forests of the Pacific Northwest starting this fall to shoot one species of owl to protect another that is threatened with extinction. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday released a final environmental review of an experiment to see if killing barred owls will allow northern spotted owls to reclaim territory they’ve been driven out of over the past half-century. The agency has been evaluating the idea since 2009, gathering public comment and consulting ethicists, focus groups and scientific studies. It will issue a final decision on the plan in a month. “If we don’t manage barred owls, the probability of recovering the spotted owl goes down significantly,” said Paul Henson, Oregon state supervisor for Fish and Wildlife. The agency’s preferred course of action calls for killing 3,603 barred owls in four study areas in Oregon, Washington and Northern California over the next four years. The experiment requires a special permit under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which prohibits killing nongame birds...more
Playin' God, shooting one species to supposedly save another. As the article points out, this isn't the only place the D.C. Deities are active:
The idea of killing barred owls to protect northern spotted owls underscores the fragile balance of nature that biologists have struggled with in recent years. Between 2000 and 2006, wildlife officials captured and removed more than 40 golden eagles from the Channel Islands off Southern California to protect the island fox. They also hired a company to kill 5,000 feral pigs on Santa Cruz in a controversial program to restore the island’s ecosystem. In Oregon, wildlife officials have used lethal injections to kill selected California sea lions that feast on protected salmon in the Columbia River. And in Yosemite National Park, saving bighorn sheep has meant hunting protected mountain lions.
On any other issue it's no human intervention and let nature take its course.
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