Spotted Owl

In Canada, the endangered northern spotted owl is found only in the southwestern corner of British Columbia. This handsome medium sized owl, with its unusual dark-brown eyes, relies on old-growth forests to roost, nest and forage.

Due to ongoing logging of the old-growth forests of southwestern British Columbia scientists estimate that less than a dozen owls now remain in the wild in Canada. The historic population of spotted owls in Canada is estimated to have been 500 pairs.

Because of the declining numbers of the northern spotted owls, the Wilderness Committee is asking for: 

  • The recovery of spotted owls to 250 birds as recommended by the Spotted Owl Recovery Team.
  • The protection of all occupied and unoccupied intact spotted owl forest habitat.
  • The recovery of fragmented spotted owl forest habitat.
  • A total of enough protected forest habitat to accommodate 250 spotted owls.

Learn more

ArcGIS Online Map of New Spotted Owl Wildlife Habitat Areas in the Chilliwack, Cascades and Squamish/Sea to Sky Forest Districts
These newly created Wildlife Habitat Areas (WHAs) provide stronger protection from logging for most of the important spotted owl sites in the bird's range area than the previous special management areas. However, only the green sub-areas have strong protection (known as "Long Term Owl Habitat Areas"), while the brown/orange sub-areas around Harrison Lake and Garibaldi park still have weaker protection with special management status (known as "Managed Forest Habitat Areas"). Also, some exceptions for logging have been granted in some of the stronger protected WHAs, such as in the Chilliwack Lake WHA.
You can click on individual features on map to get more information on those features. You can toggle the legend, zoom in or change the basemap imagery with the buttons across the top. You can pan around map by clicking on map and dragging with your mouse. Click 'View Larger Map' below map to open the map in a larger ArcGIS Online map viewer window.

View Larger Map


Google Map of Proposed Logging in Chilliwack Lake Spotted Owl Habitat Area
Below, the red areas are Tamihi Logging Ltd. most contentious three approved cutblocks at Post Creek that are being cut right now inside a Spotted Owl Wildlife Habitat Area, while the light green shaded areas show the extent of the Chilliwack Lake/Depot Creek Spotted Owl Wildlife Habitat Area (WHA) adjacent to Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park. The orange areas are other cutblocks that have been approved at Ford Mountain inside the WHA, while the yellow areas are cutblocks proposed, but not yet approved by Tamihi inside the WHA. If you click on the cutblocks, The first number you will see is the cutblock id number and the second number is the amount of area in hectares of each cutblock.

View Logging in Chilliwack Lake Spotted Owl Wildlife Habitat Area in a larger map

Recent Developments

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IdeasXChange is excited to present their third forum of the academic year Bridging Barriers: A Discussion on Evid
47 weeks 1 day ago
This is a tribute to Gwen Barlee given in the Legislature by NDP Leader John Horgan.
47 weeks 2 days ago
This is a TV news story about the passing of Gwen Barlee, the Wilderness Committee's much loved spokesperson on endangered species.

Take Action

Save the Spotted Owl!

Write a letter!

Only about a dozen spotted owls are left in the wild in southwest mainland BC (the only place they are found in Canada) because of extreme logging of their old-growth forest habitat.  Where once 500 pairs of owls thrived in these forests, now clearcuts, roads and power lines have tattered and fragmented the old forests to such an extent that the owls teeter on the brink of extinction in Canada.

The Wilderness Committee has been pushing the BC government to legally protect spotted owl habitat.   We have met with some success—we’ve had tens of thousands of hectares set aside. The problem is that the BC government keeps making exceptions for industrial interests who want to keep cutting spotted owl forests down—even in Wildlife Habitat Areas which have been set aside to “protect” the owl.

Logging and hydro companies have recently gotten permission to operate in spotted owl habitat. In the spring of 2014, a Wilderness Committee on-the-ground fact finding expedition uncovered a chainsaw massacre unfolding in many of BC’s Spotted Owl wildlife Habitat Areas in the forest lands between Chilliwack and Pemberton.  This simply has to stop.

Please write now to BC’s Premier and ask for a complete ban on logging in remaining spotted owl habitat.  Also tell the government to enact a provincial stand-alone endangered species law, so that our children and grandchildren can see spotted owls, killer whales, and mountain caribou in the wild.

Write your letter now!


Photo: Spotted Owl (Sharon Toochin).