Spotted Owls Need Real Protection Now!

Please help protect the critically endangered spotted owl by writing to provincial decisionmakers in BC—urge the provincial government to end logging in the owl's old-growth forest habitat, and let them know how important it is that British Columbia enact a provincial endangered species law!

In early 2013, the public got wind that the BC government had approved a controversial strategy aimed at protecting the critically endangered Northern spotted owl. The strategy involves relocating and in some cases killing barred owls—a different, larger owl species that has been encroaching on the spotted owl’s dwindling old-growth habitat.

An FOI filed by the Wilderness Committee uncovered internal government emails from 2011 referencing the killing of barred owls as a recovery tool for spotted owls. Over the past five years, provincial ministries have relocated 73 barred owls and authorized the shooting of 39 of these birds.  Click here to read a news article about the controversy.

This is a desperate measure, and it goes without saying that culling one species to protect another is never something we’re happy about. The situation should have never gotten to this point, but decades of industrial logging and the destruction of the spotted owl’s old-growth forest habitat has brought the species to the brink of extinction. It is estimated that less than a dozen birds are left in the wild in southwestern BC—the only place they are found in Canada. However, the province continues to allow logging in key spotted owl habitat, even though scientists agree that habitat loss is the single greatest threat to the spotted owl .

You can take action by writing a letter to BC's Premier and the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, urging them to end logging in spotted owl habitat for good, and asking that the province recruit additional habitat to recover the owl to 250 birds.

This would also be a great time to remind our provincial leaders that British Columbia is in desperate need of its own stand-alone endangered species legislation, to ensure the protection of the 1,900 species at risk in this province that are currently unprotected by the hodge-podge of weak regulations that currently exist.

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