This video is about spotted owls.
From Associated Press:
Spotted Owl Habitat Slashed as Population Declines
Bush administration slashes habitat for threatened spotted owl as population decline continues
By JEFF BARNARD Associated Press Writer
GRANTS PASS, Ore. August 12, 2008
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday that the federal forest land designated as critical habitat for the owl in Washington, Oregon and Northern California would be cut by 23 percent, a reduction of 1.6 million acres. Critical habitat is a requirement of the Endangered Species Act and offers increased protections against logging.
Research shows that spotted owl numbers are dropping by 4 percent annually as a result of logging, wildfires and an invasion of its habitat by the barred owl, a more aggressive East Coast cousin that migrated across Canada and has been working its way south.
Conservation groups said the critical habitat designation and a new plan for restoring owl populations were contrary to the advice of leading scientists and crafted to fulfill a Bush administration promise to the timber industry to increase logging.
Both the plan and the habitat designation appear certain to be headed for court.
“This is a parting gift from the Bush administration to its timber friends,” said Kristen Boyles, an attorney with Earthjustice in Seattle, a public interest environmental law firm that has been fighting for the owl for two decades. “It flies in the face of the science that says we need to protect more habitat, not less.”
Tom Partin, president of the American Forest Resources Council in Portland, said the recovery plan and critical habitat would make it more difficult to thin overgrown forests to reduce the risks to wildlife and to promote the old-growth characteristics the owls favor.
“After almost 20 years of relying on a static regulatory approach which has led to continual inaction and further decline of the owl, it is clear we should be using active management to improve the health of our forests and the spotted owl,” Partin said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, this designation doubles down on a patently absurd approach.”
Logging of the largest trees in the Sierra Nevada’s national forests ended in the early 1990s after agreements were struck to protect species’ habitat. But new research by ecologists shows that spotted owls, one of the iconic species logging restrictions were meant to protect, have continued to experience population declines in the forests: here.
Scientists are puzzling out how to address the declining numbers of northern spotted owls (NSO) in their Pacific Northwest forest habitat. A new study in the Ecological Society of America’s journal Ecological Applications explores the reasons why spotted owls are losing a foothold in their habitat, forecasts future habitat conditions and species interactions, and suggests best management practices: here.
Leucistic barred owl in Montana: here.