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Endangered [Spotted] Owl Now Threatened by Rival Species
Newhouse News ^ | 5/14/04 | Michael Milstein

Posted on 05/14/2004 10:01:28 AM PDT by Incorrigible

The northern spotted owl. (2001 photo by Doug Beghtel)

Endangered Owl Now Threatened by Rival Species

BY MICHAEL MILSTEIN
 

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The northern spotted owl, whose protection under the Endangered Species Act since 1990 helped push logging of federal lands to near collapse, is faring worse now than it was five years ago, a new assessment has found.

Spotted owl numbers have fallen by roughly half over the past decade in parts of Washington and Oregon's Warm Springs Reservation, and they have dwindled by nearly a quarter in sections of Oregon's Coast and Cascade ranges. In only a few areas are the owls holding their own.

"Things are not getting better," said Eric Forsman, a research biologist with the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station and an author of the new findings, the first in five years.

There are signs that a proliferation of barred owls may in places have become a greater factor in the spotted owl's demise than habitat destruction from logging. Barred owls are larger and more aggressive, pushing the spotted owls from their nesting areas.

The barred owl was scarcely considered when the Clinton administration in 1994 imposed a blueprint for Northwest forests that set aside millions of acres as reserves for the spotted owl and other species known to dwell amid old-growth trees. Called the Northwest Forest Plan, it reshaped a once-booming logging economy that had removed most original old growth.

Officials said the forest plan itself may need revision to account for new pressures such as barred owls, which have moved in most prominently in Washington.

Timber groups, meanwhile, question the value of setting aside forests if spotted owls are no longer using them.

"If the habitat is being occupied by a more aggressive cousin, all the other work is meaningless," said Chris West of the American Forest Resource Council in Portland.

The Bush administration wants to increase federal lands logging to bring it in line with the output projections of the forest plan.

The owl findings emerge as federal authorities conduct a review forced by the timber industry to consider whether the owl deserves continued protection. Officials emphasized that the new results are preliminary and have not yet been reviewed by independent scientists; such a peer review is planned in coming weeks.

Although the study documents continued declines among owls in most of 14 study sites in Washington, Oregon and Northern California, it does not specify the reasons for them.

"The disconcerting part of it to me is that right now we can't pin it to any specific cause," said Jim Golden, deputy regional forester with the U.S. Forest Service. "We'd like to know the answers so we can make whatever changes are needed in the Northwest Forest Plan."

Scientists who worked on the plan expected spotted owl numbers would decline over as much as several decades before forests aged into the kind of old-growth habitat owls are thought to favor. But they did not expect the crashes in owl populations now witnessed in Washington.

Numbers of northern spotted owls have fallen an average of about 7.5 percent a year in Washington since 1990, 2.8 percent in Oregon and 2.2 percent in California. There was an average 2.5 percent fall on federal lands compared with a 6.6 percent decline on state, tribal and private lands, suggesting increased wildlife precautions on federal lands may have slowed their drop.

Biologists said the drops in Oregon and California are slow enough that the species might hold on there for decades, but it likely cannot survive many years of the sharp drops it has endured in Washington.

"If that continues for very long, you rapidly lose your population," Forsman said.

The drops are puzzling in part because much of the old growth freed up for cutting by the Northwest Forest Plan has not been cut due to protests and legal battles, although the Bush administration is now pressing for such cutting to proceed.

"It's hard to blame the decline on harvest on federal lands," Forsman said.

He noted the findings did not weigh the effects of logging on nearby private lands or take into account the effects of large wildfires in recent years.

The study results will be discussed Thursday at a meeting in Portland that is part of the review of owl protections.

The new study involved 32,054 sightings or captures of 11,432 banded owls; it was commissioned by an interagency group that oversees the Northwest Forest Plan and is measuring the success of the plan's first decade. It is one piece of a three-part examination of what is happening to northern spotted owls and their habitat.

May 14, 2004


(Michael Milstein is a staff writer for The Oregonian of Portland, Ore. He can be contacted at michaelmilstein@news.oregonian.com.)

Not for commercial use.  For educational and discussion purposes only.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; US: Oregon; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: environment; logging; owl; spottedowl

Scientists who worked on the plan...

Isn't it a stretch to call these people who employ junk science to get their way "scientists"?

The path of destruction behind the Clinton tornado continues unabated.

Related thread:

Conservation Groups Sue to Protect California Spotted Owl; Bush Administration Increases Logging

1 posted on 05/14/2004 10:01:32 AM PDT by Incorrigible
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To: Incorrigible

Some animals are just supposed to go extinct. That's how it works.


2 posted on 05/14/2004 10:03:15 AM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: Incorrigible

"Reject the world, and everything in it, for my kingdom is not of it"


3 posted on 05/14/2004 10:07:20 AM PDT by Windsong (FighterPilot)
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To: dead

Did we forget to tell the Barred Owl that the Spotted Owl was protected?

What a half baked plan.


4 posted on 05/14/2004 10:07:56 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (Proudly not proofreading since Jan 1954.)
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To: Incorrigible; abbi_normal_2; Ace2U; adam_az; Alamo-Girl; Alas; alfons; alphadog; amom; ...
Gosh, maybe the barred owl was the problem in the first place! Ya think?. I've heard a very knowledgeable person here on FR say that very thing.
5 posted on 05/14/2004 10:14:51 AM PDT by farmfriend ( In Essentials, Unity...In Non-Essentials, Liberty...In All Things, Charity.)
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To: Incorrigible

Spotted Owls are great; I usually have them with white wine.


6 posted on 05/14/2004 10:17:21 AM PDT by SF Republican (Kerry has all the qualities of a dog except for loyalty)
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To: Conspiracy Guy
Did we forget to tell the Barred Owl that the Spotted Owl was protected?

Quick, someone tell the Barred Owl that it is in fact barred from the spotted neighbourhood.

That'll teach them. I can't believe how retarded that stupid bird is.

7 posted on 05/14/2004 10:19:26 AM PDT by DonaldDuke
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To: Incorrigible

"Spotted owl numbers have fallen by roughly half over the past decade in parts of Washington ......."

Well, all I can tell you is that they are low in cholesterol, high in protean, added salt is not needed and they taste like chicken.


8 posted on 05/14/2004 10:20:12 AM PDT by Gator113
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To: DonaldDuke

If it saves just one Spotted Owl, it will be worth it.


9 posted on 05/14/2004 10:25:52 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (Proudly not proofreading since Jan 1954.)
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To: farmfriend

May the fittest species survive. It's not nice to fool with Mother evolution.


10 posted on 05/14/2004 10:27:20 AM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (Republicans who die between now and 2 Nov. will be voting for Kerry. Stay healthy!)
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To: Gator113

"and they taste just like chicken."

LOL! Doesn't everything?


11 posted on 05/14/2004 10:30:07 AM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (Republicans who die between now and 2 Nov. will be voting for Kerry. Stay healthy!)
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To: farmfriend

BTT!!!!!


12 posted on 05/14/2004 10:33:28 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: Incorrigible

The very people who worship evolution pretend the power and wisdom to arrest the process of natural selection.


13 posted on 05/14/2004 10:36:22 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to be managed by central planning.)
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To: Carry_Okie

cut the trees, make the spotted owl get some sun, the mold will disapear, no more spots, problem solved!


14 posted on 05/14/2004 10:44:55 AM PDT by dalereed (,)
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To: Incorrigible

I just don't believe there is anyway to stop a species, any species from going extinct. To do so, is ludicrous and only inviting problems.


15 posted on 05/14/2004 10:57:16 AM PDT by ChevyZ28 (Most of us would rather be ruined by praise, than saved by criticism.)
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To: CyberCowboy777; Libertina

ping


16 posted on 05/14/2004 11:16:01 AM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
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To: Incorrigible
Isn't it a stretch

We would probably call it an intention, which etymologically is the same root meaning as stretch.

17 posted on 05/14/2004 11:20:55 AM PDT by RightWhale (Destroy the dark; restore the light)
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To: Incorrigible
OWL OF PEACE ALERT
18 posted on 05/14/2004 11:21:46 AM PDT by FreedomFarmer (FReep & Bones, Class of 99)
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To: farmfriend; Carry_Okie; calcowgirl; forester; sfwarrior; Grampa Dave; Dog Gone; snopercod
Hey! I already tole yew guys that this was all spelled out in a San Francisco artickle about five, or six years ago by a biologist who made it clear that the New York Barred Owls were gobbling up all the wussy Spotted Owl's favorite foods (shouldn't have been such a picky eater in the first place) and mating with it (leave it to those aggressive owls from New York bars) and breeding it out of existence.

His whole point was that the wussy Spotted Owl was being screwed, starved and intimidated worse than prisoners in an Iraqi prison!!! Those New York owls were taught to fly in terrorist flying schools and were even flying their larger bodies into the nests of Northern Spotted Owls and laying waste to their priceless eggs!!!

The films were to be played on Letterman in his favorite sequence called "Is This Anything?" Dave nixed the idea in favor of his cherished "Grinder Girl" who is obviously from the Middle East.

He almost considered moving it to "Stupid Pet Tricks" but knew better after reviewing EnvironMentalism in general and preferred airing it in the "Stupid Human Tricks" along with that British "Butterfly" gal sitting atop a giant pine tree!!!

19 posted on 05/14/2004 11:27:40 AM PDT by SierraWasp (Hey Commonista! If you must burn the flag, would you please wrap yourself in it, first???)
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To: SierraWasp
His whole point was that the wussy Spotted Owl was being screwed, starved and intimidated worse than prisoners in an Iraqi prison!!!

ROFL

20 posted on 05/14/2004 11:34:00 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Incorrigible

LOL!


21 posted on 05/14/2004 11:42:31 AM PDT by talleyman (E=mc2 (before taxes))
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To: SierraWasp

Up to this year we have had a Peregrine Falcon move into our area to feed on new birds and their protective parents.

That Falcon dined on a few new Spotted Owls each year in our area.

I haven't seen it yet, but it usually shows up about the middle of May for its annual new bird feast.


22 posted on 05/14/2004 11:43:48 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (What left wing lies of the media, the DNC and foreign enemies will we expose today?)
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To: dalereed
cut the trees, make the spotted owl get some sun, the mold will disapear, no more spots, problem solved!

There is more to it than that. The owl needs corridors in which to fly. The forests are too thick to provide that. The mice that the owls eat need groundcovers as a source of food. The forests are too thick to provide that.

Either way, thin that forest. Use the money to stay on top of the regeneration.

23 posted on 05/14/2004 11:49:59 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to be managed by central planning.)
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To: Incorrigible
Two words:

Bush's Fault...8^)

24 posted on 05/14/2004 11:50:23 AM PDT by AngryJawa (Thank You Troops!)
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To: TheSpottedOwl

ping


25 posted on 05/14/2004 12:13:23 PM PDT by RonDog
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To: Incorrigible

This can't be, government programs never fail. I know, we need to spend more money on this. No owls left behind!! Tax the rich, yeah, that's the answer.


26 posted on 05/14/2004 12:19:15 PM PDT by bfree (Liberals are EVIL!!!)
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To: SierraWasp
This CA native bred with a NYer as well.
27 posted on 05/14/2004 12:19:43 PM PDT by farmfriend ( In Essentials, Unity...In Non-Essentials, Liberty...In All Things, Charity.)
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To: dead
Some animals are just supposed to go extinct. That's how it works.

Amazing how the enviros lack common sense....

28 posted on 05/14/2004 12:41:01 PM PDT by crv16
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To: Incorrigible; RonDog; Grampa Dave
There are signs that a proliferation of barred owls may in places have become a greater factor in the spotted owl's demise than habitat destruction from logging. Barred owls are larger and more aggressive, pushing the spotted owls from their nesting areas.

Well there goes the neighborhood. The Barred Owl reminds me of a species that just moved from my street...Joanneus Satanica.

29 posted on 05/14/2004 12:51:43 PM PDT by TheSpottedOwl (Torrance Ca....land of the flying monkeys)
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To: SF Republican

Thank you, I'd love a glass :-)

I'm going to have fun with this thread, hahaha!


30 posted on 05/14/2004 12:55:10 PM PDT by TheSpottedOwl (Torrance Ca....land of the flying monkeys)
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To: dalereed

Do that and the next thing the tree huggers will want is for federally subsidized sunscreen spraying...so they don't get sunburned. Oh, and aerial mouse drops so they don't starve!


31 posted on 05/14/2004 1:00:32 PM PDT by TheSpottedOwl (Torrance Ca....land of the flying monkeys)
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To: farmfriend

Wish I'd saved the graphic- there was an article here a few years ago that contended that the Mexican spotted owl was thriving... and the only way to tell between ours & theirs was the little green serape' the Mexican bird wore...


32 posted on 05/14/2004 1:42:44 PM PDT by backhoe (--30--)
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To: backhoe

LOL! Thanks, I needed a laugh!


33 posted on 05/14/2004 1:48:15 PM PDT by farmfriend ( In Essentials, Unity...In Non-Essentials, Liberty...In All Things, Charity.)
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To: farmfriend
I *think* the ballon or firecracker over the mexican owl's head went something like "Que habla espanol?"

Just BTW, I love birds... we have the "endangered" red cockaded woodpeckers around here, and of course the claim is that they can only live in Old Growth Forests, so we can't log or clear these areas.

Just one little problem- we live in a small city, and there's nary an old growth forest to be found- the pulpwooders harvested the surrounding county decades ago, and most of the trees are husbanded- plant, grow, harvest, then replant.

And naturally, we are up to our ears in the little red-headed devils- they have a weird jungle bird cry right out of the old tarzan movies, and you hear & see them all over the place. Pecking away at... new trees!

34 posted on 05/14/2004 2:11:35 PM PDT by backhoe (--30--)
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To: Incorrigible

..barred owls...

Yum.


35 posted on 05/14/2004 2:14:05 PM PDT by PoorMuttly ("Give me Liberty...or give me Lunch" (with enough lunch, I'll figure out how to TAKE Liberty myself)
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To: backhoe

Spotted owls have been known to live in Wal-Mart signs as well. Too funny.


36 posted on 05/14/2004 2:20:48 PM PDT by farmfriend ( In Essentials, Unity...In Non-Essentials, Liberty...In All Things, Charity.)
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To: farmfriend
Yeah but... does he steal alla yer food? (grin)

Yer not goin exstinked!!!

37 posted on 05/14/2004 4:36:21 PM PDT by SierraWasp (Hey Commonista! If you must burn the flag, would you please wrap yourself in it, first???)
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To: SierraWasp; Carry_Okie; farmfriend; marsh2; sasquatch; hedgetrimmer
There was an average 2.5 percent fall on federal lands compared with a 6.6 percent decline on state, tribal and private lands, suggesting increased wildlife precautions on federal lands may have slowed their drop.

Junk science in action

38 posted on 05/14/2004 9:50:33 PM PDT by forester ( An economy that is overburdened by government eventually results in collapse)
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To: Carry_Okie
There is more to it than that. The owl needs corridors in which to fly. The forests are too thick to provide that. The mice that the owls eat need groundcovers as a source of food. The forests are too thick to provide that.

Add to that all the feathered little victims that have been turned to ashes because of the fires due to the insane "forced lack of forrest maintainence."

39 posted on 05/14/2004 10:41:08 PM PDT by c-b 1
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To: SierraWasp
Yer not goin exstinked!!!

Are you saying I'm fat???? LOL!!!

40 posted on 05/14/2004 11:56:50 PM PDT by farmfriend ( In Essentials, Unity...In Non-Essentials, Liberty...In All Things, Charity.)
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To: farmfriend

Fat chance!!!


41 posted on 05/15/2004 6:40:33 AM PDT by SierraWasp (Hey Commonista! If you must burn the flag, would you please wrap yourself in it, first???)
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To: SierraWasp

Smart man!!!


42 posted on 05/15/2004 8:29:22 AM PDT by farmfriend ( In Essentials, Unity...In Non-Essentials, Liberty...In All Things, Charity.)
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