|Spotted owl- Wikimedia|
|Barred owl range- FWS.com|
Back in 1999, Smithsonian and others reported the invasion of barred owls into the spotted owls' territory. Native to the eastern US, they began to expand their range west of the Mississippi, around the turn of the 20th century. This may have been partially due to human changes in the Great Plains' landscape. The birds extended across southern Canada and then down the West Coast. (FWS)
|Barred owl - Missouri Department of Conservation|
Fast forward 15 years and a local battle rages. There has been a call for drastic measures to decrease or eliminate the barred owl from this foreign territory. Trapping and transporting barred owls is expensive and inefficient, leading to a program of shooting them. As you can imagine this has caused a lot conflict between the barred and spotted fans. There is a report on this battle on NPR.
Some of the research is covered in Smithsonian Magazine in 2009.