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Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:34 AM

Owl killings spur moral questions about human intervention


By PHUONG LE
an hour ago

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — As he stood amid the thick old-growth forests in the coastal range of Oregon, Dave Wiens was nervous. Before he trained to shoot his first barred owl, he had never fired a gun.

He eyed the big female owl, her feathers streaked brown and white, perched on a branch at just the right distance. Then he squeezed the trigger and the owl fell to the forest floor, adding to a running tally of more than 2,400 barred owls killed so far in a controversial experiment by the U.S. government to test whether the northern spotted owl’s rapid decline in the Pacific Northwest can be stopped by killing its aggressive East Coast cousin.

Wiens grew up fascinated by birds, and his graduate research in owl interactions helped lay the groundwork for this tense moment.

“It’s a little distasteful, I think, to go out killing owls to save another owl species,” said Wiens, a biologist who still views each shooting as “gut-wrenching” as the first. “Nonetheless, I also feel like from a conservation standpoint, our back was up against the wall. We knew that barred owls were outcompeting spotted owls and their populations were going haywire.”

More:
https://apnews.com/3f13677c693a478a93fcf400a7ef2981

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Reply Owl killings spur moral questions about human intervention (Original post)
Judi Lynn Oct 2019 OP
elleng Oct 2019 #1
Mountain Mule Oct 2019 #2
Duppers Oct 2019 #3

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:37 AM

1. 'whether the northern spotted owl's rapid decline in the Pacific Northwest can be stopped

by killing its aggressive East Coast cousin.'

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 02:23 AM

2. It sounds like bad science to me

Life on this planet is going through its 6th mass extinction event - mainly caused by the actions of man. Perhaps it would be more "moral" to just shoot humans and be done with it. The ultimate cause of this ecological imbalance is loss of habitat for the spotted owl. We can kill all the barred owls we possibly can and it will still not bring back natural habitats. This is foolishness - and immoral foolishness at that.

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Response to Mountain Mule (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 07:51 AM

3. Exactly.

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