[Tweeters] Re: Barred Owl Kill-off (proposed plan)
nigelj.ball at gmail.com
Sun Jul 28 22:00:31 PDT 2013
This explanation is great!
Noting the confusion felt on Tweeters, and overhearing discussion in a
locals bar in Port Angeles (awkward), I wish (idealistically, I suppose)
that the process could include education for all levels and many media
before the decisions were announced.
Nigelj.ball at gmail.com
On Jul 28, 2013 8:12 AM, <rrpearson at centurytel.net> wrote:
> These are good questions and one should always know as many facts as
> possible. There is a wealth of data and information for Spotted Owls,
> possibly more than for any other species, but it is not easy to wade
> through. I’ll try to provide information that arrives from my experience
> that may help inform opinion. I have been tracking Spotted Owls on the
> Cowlitz Valley Ranger District, Gifford Pinchot NF since 1991, and was one
> of the first anywhere to begin tracking and looking specifically for Barred
> Owls to see what their impact might be on Spotted Owls.
> The Spotted Owl was listed as a threatened species in large part because
> of the *projected* continued logging of old-growth forest. The largest
> reservoir of Spotted Owl sites was on Forest Service land, and the
> management intent was to treat most of the forest there similarly to
> private land: cut down all the big trees and replace them with ‘young,
> vigorous growth’ – tree plantations. The FS land reserved from logging was
> mostly high elevation and not very useful in retaining Spotted Owls or any
> other of the many species dependent on old-growth forest. So if the intent
> was to convert most old-growth forest to tree plantations, and Spotted Owls
> depended on old-growth forest, it was easy to see what the outcome would be.
> The impact of logging habitat could most clearly be seen in a comparison
> of Federal land to private land. In the 1990s, SW Washington west of I-5,
> which had mostly been logged, had only a handful of active Spotted Owl
> sites. My area directly west still had approximately 150 active Spotted Owl
> sites. The land area was approximately equal. Clearly, logging old forest
> had a negative impact on Spotted Owls.
> When the NW Forest Plan went into effect in 1994, Spotted Owls in my area
> were still doing very well. Logging had reduced habitat nearly everywhere,
> but in most places not to the point where Spotted Owls could not function.
> 1992 was a banner year for Spotted Owls in that most sites reproduced that
> year, and nearly every historical site had Spotted Owls present. 1994 was
> nearly as good. Detections of Barred Owls were increasing but without any
> observable effect on Spotted Owl sites. In those years, judging from
> available habitat and what had been logged, Spotted Owl site numbers were
> pretty close to what the number would have been without any logging.
> Continued logging of habitat would have begun to seriously reduce numbers,
> but it had stopped in time to adequately support most of the Spotted Owl
> sites that remained if there was no further logging of habitat.
> Barred owls were first found in my area in 1978, the same year the first
> Spotted Owl surveys were conducted. There were 2 male Barred Owls found,
> both at low elevation in a marshy area south of Randle. Through the 1980s
> and 1990s Barred Owl numbers slowly increased and didn’t have any
> observable effect on Spotted Owls. The 2000s were different.
> Through the 2000s Barred Owl numbers began to steadily increase yearly
> while Spotted Owl numbers decreased simultaneously. Graphing the number of
> sites found active for both species through these years results in nearly
> perfectly mirrored lines of increase for Barred Owls and decrease for
> Spotted Owls. During this time no additional habitat was logged, indicating
> the decrease in Spotted Owl numbers was due to Barred Owl presence (but
> some qualification later). There may have been some lag effect to habitat
> reduction, in that some Spotted Owl sites may have eventually gone inactive
> because of reduced habitat, but if there was, that was overwhelmed by the
> evidence of simultaneous and mirrored Barred Owl increase and Spotted Owl
> Additionally, as the 2000s progressed, I increasingly began to find Barred
> Owls where I used to find Spotted Owls. By 2005, the number of active
> Barred Owl sites equaled the number of historical Spotted Owl sites. In
> 2006, Barred Owl sites surpassed Spotted Owl sites. Currently in 2013,
> there are 254 active Barred Owl sites compared to 159 historical Spotted
> Owl sites. Over the last 5 years, I have found Spotted Owls at only 79
> sites, or just over half of the historical sites still active. My estimate,
> in the 30 years from the high-water year of 1992 to present, is that the
> active Spotted Owl sites have decreased to at most 40% of what there was in
> 1992, with little additional loss of habitat but a great increase in Barred
> Maybe the best way to asses the impact of Barred Owls is to compare
> National Parks, where there has been no habitat reduction, to other areas
> that have had logging. The National Parks have seen a dramatic increase in
> Barred Owls similar to all other areas, and have also seen Spotted Owl
> numbers decline rapidly during this time. While there may be other reasons
> for Spotted Owl decline in the NPs, and it’s possible that Spotted Owls
> declining for other reasons have made it easier for Barred Owls to
> establish themselves, the relationship of simultaneous Barred Owl increase
> and Spotted Owl decrease remains and is similar to other areas. Without any
> habitat loss, Spotted Owls still have declined where Barred Owls have
> However, there is one important difference. In SW Washington, where
> logging of habitat has continued, the Spotted Owl is now considered to be
> extinct. For both Mt. Rainer and Olympic NPs, Spotted Owls are still
> active, although at reduced numbers, while the areas adjacent to the parks
> that have had habitat heavily logged have seen the Spotted Owls reduced to
> nearly nothing.
> To me, there appears to be a connection between the amount of available
> habitat, the number of Barred Owls, and the number of Spotted Owl sites
> that remain active. Barred Owls can withstand, and may even benefit from,
> logging. The area in SW Washington where Spotted Owls are now considered
> extinct and has been nearly all logged in the past also has the highest
> concentration of Barred Owls of any place I’m familiar with. The logging
> that was detrimental to Spotted Owls has appeared to be beneficial to
> Barred Owls. The qualification I mentioned above is that while Barred Owls
> have a negative impact on Spotted Owls, the impact is greater where there
> has also been logging in the past, so that the combination of logging and
> Barred Owls has more of an impact than either by itself. That, I think, is
> the key.
> I don’t have answers, and it may be that even in the unlogged areas
> Spotted Owls will eventually be replaced and are doomed in the Pacific NW
> no matter what we do. But it is also pretty complex, and comparing to other
> species or efforts at recovery is not perfectly predictive. No one really
> knows what will happen if we do this or that, or nothing.
> I like Barred Owls. I have spent the last 6 years recording their
> vocalizations as a research project. I can take someone to any of over 400
> pairs I am familiar with. At the same time Spotted Owls are amazing birds,
> and I hope that anyone who has not had the pleasure of seeing them up close
> in their natural habitat will get the opportunity to do so. They are worth
> the effort to retain if there is anything we can do to help them. I hope
> what I’ve written here will help inform some opinions in a difficult matter.
> Bob Pearson
> Packwood, WA
> rrpearson at centurytel.net
> Message: 26
> Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2013 11:47:06 -0700
> From: Ronda Stark <rondastark18 at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Re: Barred Owl Kill-off (proposed plan)
> To: Barbara Deihl <barbdeihl at comcast.net>
> Cc: Tweeters at u.washington.edu
> <CAFNywYXeMU15geeghEftZGP5-5zqTDSruvvgo3DmjzNkMKha_w at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Its ok to have dialogue as long as we all know the facts. What percentage
> of spotted owl decline is directly attributed to presence of barred owl?
> Is this percentage derived from sound science or just a wild guess? What
> percentage of decline is due to habitat loss? Wasn't spotted owl endangered
> before barred owl showed up on the scene?
> Eradication, or partial eradication, of one specie, in preference of
> another specie, is not something that has been sanctioned in the past. Are
> we setting new and possibly dangerous precedent?
> On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 2:36 PM, Barbara Deihl <
> barbdeihl at comcast.net>wrote:
> > Oh, it'll probably happen - always some human fallibility present in
> > endeavor.
> > Barb
> > On Jul 26, 2013, at 1:39 PM, ck park wrote:
> > one can hope a spotty won't accidentally be shot or otherwise killed
> > during such a cull... oh, the irony...
> > 00 caren
> > http://www.ParkGallery.org
> > george davis creek, north fork
> > On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 1:21 PM, Barbara Deihl <
> barbdeihl at comcast.net>wrote:
> >> We can't have it all - unlimited human population, unlimited human
> >> consumption of habitat and proliferation of the entire diversity of
> >> wildlife. We can only try to temper our insatiable need to have and
> >> control every aspect of and every speck of life and resources on this
> >> planet, and do this through continued experimentation, analysis of the
> >> results and willingness to change our thoughts and plans in accordance.
> >> I'm inclined to think that we need to buy a little time with some
> >> strategic reduction of some Barred Owls, not only to see how the Spotted
> >> Owl fares, but also to see if it makes a difference in population
> >> of other birds and animals that the Barred Owl also affects, (example:
> >> Western Screech Owl that it preys on).
> >> I appreciate all those who have and still will participate in this
> >> discussion - it's nice to get some new material to help me formulate my
> >> latest thoughts on this subject (which actually comprises a multitude of
> >> issues).
> >> Once again, the Tweeters forum stimulates some brain cells...:-)
> >> Barb Deihl
> >> North Matthews Beach - NE Seattle
> >> barbdeihl at comcast.net
> Tweeters mailing list
> Tweeters at u.washington.edu
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