The government has announced a plan to destroy hundreds of thousands of owls in a controversial plan to save an endangered species.

I was sitting on my deck this weekend and heard a familiar screech in the yard. Suddenly, I noticed a barred owl staring me down from atop our fence. While I watched him sit there, another one flew down from a tree branch. The two owls would soon be joined by a third that set off a series of screeches and yells from his siblings.

This was certainly not the first time our yard had been visited by owls. Every year during the beginning of July, new families of owls make their way through our neighborhood. Some years they choose a tree in our yard to call home, others we hear them in the distance calling out to each other.

It's hard to believe that anyone would want to wipe out these majestic creatures, but it turns out the government has a plan to kill hundreds of thousands of barred owls over the next decade.

A. Boris
A. Boris

Barred Owls to be Destroyed by Government

According to a report by PBS, the government is planning to send out trained gunmen to shoot and kill hundreds of thousands of barred owls that have migrated from the New York area to the West Coast. The controversial plan is a last-ditch effort to help support the spotted owl population that has been on a steady decline.

States like Oregon and California have unsuccessfully attempted to save the spotted owl by limiting logging operations and strictly regulating new construction. These measures have been unsuccessful. So now there's a plan to limit competition from other owl species.

A. Boris
A. Boris

Barred Owls From New York Unwanted in Other States

While we love our barred owls in New York, people in other states see them as an invasive species. Over the past few decades, the owls have made their way from the New York area out to the West Coast where they've flourished. These barred owls are now competing with spotted owls for food and shelter. In areas like the Sierra Nevada forests, the spotted owls have begun to lose a turf war with their new neighbors.

Animal conservation groups seem to differ on whether they think killing off hundreds of thousands of barred owls is a good idea. While some say the measure is necessary to keep the spotted owl alive, others question whether the mass killings will actually help. Some argue that destroying the barred owls could have an even worse impact on the local ecosystem.

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