By Associated Press • 

Spotted owl count declines at faster rate


PORTLAND — Scientists report that after 20 years of attempts to save the species, northern spotted owl numbers in the Northwest are still on the decline — and at a faster rate.

The threatened bird nests in old trees and is at the heart of a decades-long struggle over the fate of the region's old-growth forests.

A Forest Service spokesman, Glen Sachet, says scientists at a conference Tuesday reported that owl numbers are now dropping at an annual rate of 3.8 percent. Five years ago, the rate was 2.8 percent.

Besides losing habitat, spotted owls in recent years have been pushed out by barred owls, an aggressive invader from the Midwest.

Environmentalist Andy Stahl says isolation is now becoming a problem: With thinning populations, owls can't find each other to mate.



Spotted owls are like dinosaurs they are on their on way out and all the environmentalists in the world are not going to save them. The tree huggers will ruin the environment before anyone else. They have ran most of the loggers out of business and they are better stewards of the land than anybody.

Don Dix

Over 99% of species that have lived on Earth one time or another, have gone extinct. Tunnel-vision tree huggers don't realize Mother Nature writes the script, and she always follows through!

Robert Lee

Don Dix, while that is correct it has generally been attributable to natural causes and has happened over a longer period of time geologically speaking with the exception of mass level extinction events. We're in the midst of the 6th of those, and it is directly attributable to human actions.

Jim "loggers are better stewards of the land than anybody"? That's some Fox News level ignorance there. Wow.


Robert Lee I hate to get in a pissin match with a skunk but here it goes. If you don't cut and replant a forest it rots and is useless at some point. My Grandfather,Dad and Uncles cut timber in 4 or 5 counties around here in the 40's and 50's and it is beautiful second growth now. So enjoy the trees that stand tall now because of the loggers that damn sure we're stewards of the land.

Don Dix

Robert -- Natural causes? Wouldn't that be Mother Nature?

Jim -- The tree-huggers cannot fathom that anyone but them have cared for the Earth, let alone those dastardly loggers.

Fact is, "Forest growth nationally has exceeded harvest since the 1940s. By 1997, forest growth exceeded harvest by 42 percent and the volume of forest growth was 380 percent greater than it had been in 1920." Apparently, someone sneaked in and planted trees when the enviros were busy developing the windmill ... oh, they didn't do that either!

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