Conservation: The Spotted Owl Prevails

The Spotted Owl Prevails

Mule deer, mountain goats, bald eagles and three-toed woodpeckers are naturally at home among the stately firs, hemlocks, cedars and redwoods in the "old growth" forests of the Pacific Northwest. So are goshawks, flying squirrels and red tree voles. But amid this Noah's ark of creatures, none is so influential as a dark-eyed bird with a doglike bark and a yen for mice -- the northern spotted owl.

By proposing to make the owl a threatened species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may enable the birds, now numbering only about 2,500 pairs, to succeed where environmentalists have failed: it may...

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