Spotted owls (Strix Occidentalis) live in old-growth forests of western North America from southwestern BC to Mexico. In the US, the species is considered threatened, while in Canada it is designated endangered. In BC, about six pairs remain in the wild, a tiny remnant of the estimated historic population of 500 pairs. Much of their habitat is gone – logged and developed. Controversy between environmentalists and loggers over protection of these forests has raged for years. Biologists also fear that the more aggressive barred owl, whose populations are increasing in the region, is pushing the spotted owl out of its disappearing habitat.
Answered by: Dr Rob Cannings, curator of Entomology