KQED: Should We Kill One Species to Save Another?

A new controversy has sprung in the Pacific Northwest and has asked  the question, should we kill one species to save another? The northern spotted owl, native to the Pacific Northwest, is threatened by the non-native barred owls. The barred owls caused the northern spotted owl population to become endangered. The barred owls are larger, more aggressive and are outcompeting the northern spotted owl for food and nesting areas. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services  has since conducted experiments on how to kill the barred owls in regions where the northern spotted owls are in danger.

(Below Left) Barred Owl 


This experiment creates the discussion of whether it is right to kill off a non-native species to preserve the lives of other species. Some argue that the government does not have the right to kill off a species, but  should  let nature run its course. Others argue that humans have the right to help threatened species.  

(Below right) Northern spotted owl


I believe that, in this case, we should not let nature run its course and the government should  intentionally kill off the barred owl species. We should not  let barred owls take over the land and kill off the northern spotted owls because the barred owl species is non-native and will kill off all the Northern spotted owls. If Norther spotted owls are killed, who knows how this drastic change will effect the population?! For this reason, I would morally allow the non-native species to be intentionally killed.

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Picture Works Cited: