Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Spotted Owls not endangered in California

After receiving two petitions in three years, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service studied Spotted Owl populations in California and recently concluded that most populations remain stable or are growing. The subspecies should not be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, the service said. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

Highlights from the recent study:
Most Spotted Owl populations in the Sierra Nevada are stable or increasing.

The "statistically non-significant" decline in the San Bernardino population isn't sufficient to trigger an ESA listing.

Although forest-fuel reduction efforts could have a short-term impact on the owls, those efforts will have long-term benefits by decreasing the risk of wildfires.

Barred Owls, which threaten the northern subspecies in Washington and Oregon, apparently haven't arrived in the Southern California mountains but have moved very slowly into the Sierra Nevada.

Spotted Owl courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. To read a species profile, pick up the new July/August issue of WildBird!

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