The Northern Spotted Owl is found throughout Western Washington and Oregon and as far north to British Columbia and South to Northern Calif.
Spotted owls are becoming much harder to find. By 1990 wholesale cutting of old-growth trees had sent the owls and other wildlife into a tailspin spurring fights between environmentalists and logging interests.
A 1994 agreement called the Northern Forest Plan, which stepped up habitat protection for the owls and other species over 24 million acres of land was supposed to fix all that. Northern spotted owls seemed to be headed towards stability.
Masked beneath those figures was a growing threat…..an exploding population of Barred Owls was moving in shoving Spotted Owls from their territories.
Given the Barred Owl’s role in the Spotted Owl’s steepening slide, some timber companies and rural governments have called for rollbacks of forest protections. But safeguarding habitat may be more important than ever.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology