Kill owls to save… owls ?!


To save the endangered northern spotted owl, biologists have begun killing barred owls, a more widespread and aggressive bird that has invaded the former species’ territories in the U.S. Northwest. Once a barred owl enters a spotted owl’s range, it can out-compete it for food by being less picky and often aggressively kicks it out of its roost by repeatedly harassing and even “body-slamming” it.

But killing owls–even an aggressive intruder–represents a moral challenge for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). On the one hand, killing these large birds seems wrong to many, but that agency is also required by law to protect spotted owls, which are listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. (1)

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Ecology is about balance. And balance dictates that something has to die in order for something else to live. We like to play God and decide which species is to live and which is to die. We are against evolution. We are against balance. And we will pay the price…

PS. And no, I did not even refer to the fact that we call two owls as “different species”… Hehehe…

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