By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
A biologist and contractor with a lumber company is at the heart of an experiment sanctioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: killing bully owls to protect endangered owls.
Biologist Lowell Diller, a contractor for Green Diamond Resource Co., a lumber company managing timberland in Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity counties, kills barred owls, which are known to bully the smaller northern spotted owl, the San Jose Mercury News reported (http://bayareane.ws/1QlXvDn).
The barred owl has invaded California from the eastern
muscling out northern spotted owls upstate, and spreading south toward . A San Francisco Pacific Northwest native, the spotted owl is threatened
with extinction and has become the symbol of the region's timber conservation
Northern spotted owl populations have fallen in some areas by about 12 percent each year, despite efforts enacted in the 1990s to protect their old-growth forest habitat.
After Diller learned Jack Dumbacher, ornithology curator at the California Academy of Sciences, had a permit to collect some barred owl specimens, Diller saw an opportunity and applied for his own permit.