Finally some good news for Barn Owls in BC
The Federal Government through Environment Canada has published their intention to uplist Barn Owls after a final 30-day consultation, which closes on January 18th. This means the official uplisting is going to happen very soon. The switch from the current listing of "Special Concern" to "Threatened" would bring the complete and full protections granted by SARA. The Western population would also received a Recovery Plan and Action Plan.
This is much needed and welcome news that many have been fighting for. Biologist Sofi Hindmarch wrote a recent research paper I previously posted on this site; where she predicted this population to become sadly extirpated. They went through a huge population decrease due to some bad winters and just locally at least 69 carcasses were picked up by OWL. This gravely impacted the local population, as they are in the northern limit of their range already. This is why it is imperative not to disrupt Barn Owls hunting in the daytime during the winter as most that do this in the daytime are doing so out of starvation and desperation. Once they get uplisted people found harassing these owls will suffer much larger fines and consequences. Barn Owls are one of the few owls that cannot regulate their body temperature when they get wet and cold like other owls. Therefore many die from hypothermia. Another big problem locally is the use of rat poison, development of appropriate habitat and encroachment causing more owls to be hit by cars as they are forced to hunt close to busy roads. Truly this depleted population of Barn Owls should be listed as "Endangered", which would provide even more protection under the law but this is a long overdue start.
Let's hope it's not too little too late; today however, I'm celebrating.
You can read "The Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act" (the proposed order) to help protect the Barn Owls and other species of becoming extirpated or extinct from Canada and to help their recovery HERE.
Please also send in your comments which are welcome until Jan 18/2018 HERE.
|Female Barn Owl - Photo: Melissa Hafting|