The Barn Owl is listed as an endangered species not only in Canada but also in the United States. Considering that every member of the ecosystem plays a key role in the ecosystem, it is important that this bird species be protected from extinction. Increased destruction of the habitat occupied by this species has been cited as one of the key factors leading to the decline of this species. Hollow tree trunks that have acted as habitats to this bird species have over time become limited in Northern America (Campbell 123).
The clearing of land for agricultural and urban development purposes have shrank the habitat of the Barn Owl. Other human disturbances that are believed to increase the decline of this species are urbanization. Electrocution has claimed the life of large numbers of Barn Owls. Some of the power lines pass across the habitats of this bird thereby increases the chances of the death of these birds. Despite human disturbances being a key cause of high mortality of the Barn Owl, there are other natural factors that have contributed to the decline of this species. Increase in the number of raccoons and the Horn Owl have resulted in both the predation of the Barn Owl and also their eggs (Maynard 67).
The reproduction rate of the Barn Owl has contributed to the decline of this species. This bird species matures at an age of one year (Davis & Foreman 44). Unlike other bird species, the Barn Owl does not have a long life span. The bird does not have a high reproduction rate. The bird has been found to reproduce one or two times during its life time (Flower& Pape 31). This means that a high predation of the eggs of this bird has a huge impact of the population of this species. The huge decline in the population of this bird is one of the reasons why this bird has been listed as being an endangered species as per the stipulation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In addition, it is worth noting that this bird species does not construct nests like other birds. The bird is believed in lay eggs in tree trunk cavities, abandoned construction sites, and in dark caves. This makes the eggs of the Barn Owl more vulnerable to predation.
Considering that the Barn Owl occupies an important niche within the eco-system, there is a need to protect the habitat of this species. The restoration of these habitats should include the corporate market, environmental protection groups, and members of the public. Ontario should also adopt a government policy that seeks to reduce human disturbances of both the habitat and the forage areas of the Barn Owl.
The process of protecting this bird species should not only be left to environmental conservation groups. The government, the corporate market, and members of the public should be involved in the protection of this species’ habitat. However, it is important to note that not every stakeholder would support efforts to preserve these habitats. The corporate market would lose millions of dollars by leaving some areas undeveloped for the purposes of habitat protection. In addition, some members of the public whose lands are habitat of the Barn Owl might not be willing to leave their farms undisturbed. This is because doing so would put them in financial complications. Government in both the local and federal level should compensate individuals who are affected by the habitat restoration of this species. In addition, the government should financially support environmental groups working towards to preservation of the Barn Owl.
Campbell, E. C., and R. Wayne Campbell. Status report on the barn owl, Tyto alba, in Canada. Ottawa: Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, 1990. Print.
Davies, Nicola, and Michael Foreman. White owl, barn owl. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2007. Print.
Flower, Phyllis, and Cheryl Pape. Barn owl. New York: Harper & Row, 1978. Print.
Maynard, Thane. Endangered animal babies: saving species one birth at a time. New York: Franklin Watts, 1993. Print.