FWS and the killing of Barred in the spotteds territory...
See, here's the thing...as a species, unless you are able to adapt to a changing environment (rolling with the punches, so to speak) you will go extinct, which is what's happening to the Northern Spotted owl, so killing all the Barred owls in the area won't magically fix their problem. Sometimes, I believe that the 'smart' people who have all these letters after their names have completely taken leave of God given common sense, not to mention pissing away vast amounts of tax-payer money all in the name of job security.
Extinction is a naturally occurring process and usually brought about by changes to the environment (volcanoes/earthquakes/drought, etc). And last but not least, humans exacerbate the rate of animal extinction 100 fold with our unique ability to change the environment artificially by carving out the land to fit our needs, rather than having to do as the animals, and adapting to the given area.
Humans are the best and worst thing about the planet. We can see something bad happening and fix it, (ie - Invasive European Starlings taking over Eastern Bluebird nesting cavities, so we promote a major nest box campaign with a slightly smaller hole...VOLIA', problem solved) or we can completely gum up the works and fail miserably as we have with the logging and forest fragmentation in Spotted owl territory... I think most of that area is now protected, but it's too late to help the Spotted. This is all in the name of ‘economy’ because the guys out there have to have something to chop down so they can sell the wood to foreign companies in exchange for fiat currency to feed their families. Well, I hate to break it to you, but the time will come when you will have to figure out something else to do to generate income.
Enter, the Northern Barred owls.
The Northern Barred owl doesn't have the same 'delicate' nesting requirements as his cousin, the Northern Spotted owl and I don't care how many Barred owls Fish and Wildlife Service slaughters, it won't stop the eventual extinction of the Spotted owls because of what's already been done to their environment. Nature abhors a vacuum and the Barred owls are just doing what is coming naturally to them (and us); breeding, spreading and dominating. They are more adaptive to the human-altered landscape than their precarious cousins...
Here is the link to the article. The idea was first brought up during the Bush Administration, so this isn’t a left/right thing, OK? http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ap-newsbreak-obama-administration-plan-would-kill-rival-bird-to-save-spotted-owl/2012/02/28/gIQAvxAUgR_story.html
Regardless of the species, it's thirsty work becoming an owl...
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