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Environment

Federal Officials Consider Endangered Listing For Spotted Owl

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Cascadia Wildlands
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Federal wildlife officials are taking a new look at the status of the threatened northern spotted owl. Despite decades of efforts to save the species, it could soon be considered endangered.

A California conservation group petitioned the Department of the Interior in 2012 to change the status of the spotted owl under the Endangered Species Act. The group argued that owl populations are still on the decline because of habitat loss and the incursion of the barred owl, especially in Washington and Northern Oregon.

Paul Henson is Oregon Supervisor at the US Fish and Wildlife Service. He says a change in status wouldn’t automatically curtail logging, but:

Paul Henson: “It sends a signal that the seriousness of the spotted owl situation is greater than it was previously, and it alerts the public to what might be a more sort of cautious, conservative recovery effort.”

Federal officials will now begin a year-plus review process to determine if the science supports an endangered listing.

Federal wildlife officials are taking a new look at the status of the threatened northern spotted owl. Despite decades of efforts to save the species, it could soon be considered endangered.

A California conservation group petitioned the Department of the Interior in 2012 to change the status of the spotted owl under the Endangered Species Act. The group argued that owl populations are still on the decline because of habitat loss and the incursion of the barred owl, especially in Washington and Northern Oregon.

Paul Henson is Oregon Supervisor at the US Fish and Wildlife Service. He says a change in status wouldn’t automatically curtail logging, but:

Paul Henson: “It sends a signal that the seriousness of the spotted owl situation is greater than it was previously, and it alerts the public to what might be a more sort of cautious, conservative recovery effort.”

Federal officials will now begin a year-plus review process to determine if the science supports an endangered listing.

Copyright 2015 Earthfix

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