The Northern Spotted Owl is the quintessential canary in the coal-mine for older forest ecosystems. It was listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act in 1992 because of widespread logging of its old-growth forest habitat. And although wildfires have been blamed for contributing to owl declines, a new study documents how the massive logging in Spotted Owl territories that have burned are the actual cause of the birds decline.
On this episode of Locus Focus, we talk with one of the study’s co-authors, Dominick DellaSala, about how the spotted owl will only be able to survive if the fire-dependent forests where it lives are protected from logging.
Dominick DellaSala is chief scientist at Wild Heritage in Southern Oregon.