The United States government has proposed a total of 500,000 owl hunts.

The USFWS wants hunters to shoot over 500,000 barred owls to safeguard other native species. 

Barred owls, endemic to the U.S. East Coast, are invasive in the Pacific Northwest and threaten protected species like northern spotted owls. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) wants hunters to shoot half a million invasive owls over 30 years as part of a draft management plan. 

Since the 1950s, barred owls have outnumbered northern spotted owls in Washington, Oregon, and California.  

They threaten northern spotted owls because they are more aggressive and eat insects, frogs, fish, and other birds. Larger and more territorial than the native owls, 

they displace the northern spotted owls, interrupt their breeding, compete for food, and even fight them when they go too close. 

In barred owl-rich areas, northern spotted owl populations are dropping significantly.  

They are currently vulnerable under the Endangered Species Act after a 35–80% drop in populations over the past 20 years. 

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