Killing one species to save another sounds like a drastic solution, but that’s exactly what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is doing in California to protect the Spotted Owl from a predator that happens to be its distant cousin.
In the West Coast marijuana-growing region known as the Emerald Triangle, scientists want to know whether rat poison spread around illegal pot plantations is killing northern spotted owls, a threatened species.
To save the imperiled spotted owl, the Obama administration is moving forward with a controversial plan to shoot barred owls, a rival bird that has shoved its smaller cousin aside.
It’s an icon of the Northern California redwoods: the spotted owl. Commercial loggers used to be the threatened species’ biggest enemy. Now those same loggers are taking up arms to protect it from another threat.