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Northern Spotted Owl Habitat vs. Logging Interests in the Pacific Northwest

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Submitted By belba07
Words 584
Pages 3
Betty Bates
AC1300186
Introduction to Ecology
Assignment 8
The Northern Spotted Owl Habitat vs. Logging Interests in the Pacific Northwest The Northern Spotted Owl (Strix Occidentalis Courina) likes to live in older forest growths. It is often thought of as the medium sized owl, but in reality, it is the largest owl in North America. Spotted owls do their hunting at night. The spotted owl’s diet consists mainly of small rodents, other birds and reptiles, but have been seen feeding on cairns, and insects. Owls are usually found in California and the Pacific North West in the United States, where they live in old forest growths. (The Defenders of Wild Life). They will not tolerate habitat “disturbance” and are very protective of their territory in which they live, and hunt. Owls prefer tall trees with broken tops where they can fly under and past these broken tops, where they like to nest and raise their young. The Northern spotted owl is a protected species. Due to extensive logging, the owls and their habitat is swiftly declining at an alarming rate; they were added to the endangered species list in the early “1990s” (The Defenders of Wildlife). Unfortunately, the habitat they prefer is a direct target for the logging industry the cutting of trees in their habitat, conversion of land, wind storms, and wildfires have decreased their numbers“( example: 100 pair in British Columbia, 1200 pair in Oregon, 560 pair in Northern California, and 500 pair in the state of Washington),” Scientists from The National Wild Life Federation studied this, to see if any changes had been made, for 5 years and come to the conclusion that the birds should remain on the endangered list. (The U.S. Fish and Wild Life Service). It has been estimated, that the habitat for these owls has been reduced by “60% in the last 190 years, showing a drop in numbers yearly of 2.9%”, even though being put on the endangered spices list and the fact that rules and regulations has specified suitable areas for them to hunt and nest has been designated, “If history repeats its self and facts from the past persists, the remaining habitat could be gone by 2024.”(The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). There are however, purposed resolutions that would help deter the loss of the owl and its habitat. Regardless of what the state, federal, or local governments come up with, to help protect these “management indicators species,” so called because they are studied to determine the survival rate of the species when planning forest use.” There is however circumstances we have no control over, that can also harm the Spotted Owl and its habitat, such as; wild fires, windstorms, and other predatory birds.

The debate about preserving the survival of these birds has caused lawsuits, against the “United States Forestry Service and the debaters who want to save this endangered species by allotting between 1,500 to 2,000 has of territory on all Federal, private, and state lands. The lands that would be designated would be in clusters, arranged in three or more nearby territories According to statistics a nesting pair needs 1,500 acres in parameter in which to hunt and nest. While the Northern Spotted Owl is the topic here; it is not the only species that needs to be considered when logging plan issues are on the table.

Reference
Dawson,et.al. 1987
Defenders of Wildlife National Wildlife Federation
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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