Wildlife Groups File Petition to Save California Spotted Owls

Spotted Owl
(Photo : Flickr / MiguelVieira / CC)

Two conservation groups launched a petition to urge government officials to officially consider the California spotted owl as an endangered animal under the Endangered Species Act, KCET reported.

According to the wildlife organizations, the on-going man-made activities in the forests of California are causing the population of the species to dwindle.

The petition was filed jointly by the Wild Nature Institute and the John Muir Project of the Earth Island Institute to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday.

Monica Bond of the Wild Nature Institute noted in the petition that the ongoing development projects that cut across wildlife areas and logging operations have seriously affected the natural habitats of the California spotted owls.

Although forests in California are known to be frequently ravaged by wild fires, Bond pointed out that man-made activities pose a much greater threat to the conservation of the animals.

"Forest fire is not the threat people think it is," she stated. "Yet logging on public lands in the name of reducing fire to save owls is rampant, and is having a devastating effect on this species."

In addition to man-caused operations, the spotted owls are also having a hard time competing with an invasive species known as the barred owls to search for food.

Bond then called on the government to give the California spotted owls the proper attention like the other owl species that were listed under the conservation act, according to a Wild Nature Institute news release.

"This is the only subspecies of spotted owl that does not have Endangered Species Act protection, even though its population is declining and it faces threats similar to those which resulted in the listing of the Northern spotted owl in 1990 and the Mexican spotted owl in 1993," she stated.

Dr. Chad Hanson of the John Muir project added that due to the combination of these factors, the number of California spotted owls has decreased significantly.

"It is estimated that there are less than 1,200 California spotted owl pairs remaining today, after having lost over a quarter of their population in the last two decades," he stated in the petition.

"Their populations continue to decline. Under any formulation of conservation biology the time to list this species is now," he added.

Tags California Spotted Owls, Endangered Species, Conservation, Science

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