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 six 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
- Enough protected forest habitat to accommodate 250 spotted owls
ArcGIS Online Map of New Spotted Owl Wildlife Habitat Areas in the Chilliwack, Cascades and Squamish/Sea to Sky Forest Districts
These Wildlife Habitat Areas (WHAs) provide stronger protection from logging for some 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 have no protection with special management status (known as "Managed Forest Habitat Areas") that allow for clearcuts with the odd tree left standing here and there. Also, some logging has been granted in some of the stronger protected WHAs, such as in the Chilliwack Lake WHA.
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