After setting aside millions of acres of forest to protect an endangered owl with no positive results, the Obama administration plans to kill rival owls to protect the smaller bird.
Under the experiment, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would shoot or transfer barred owls out of the Pacific Northwest to preserve the northern spotted owl, according to the Associated Press. The spotted owl population has declined 40 percent in 25 years.
"We must move forward with a science-based approach to forestry that restores the health of our lands and wildlife and supports jobs and revenue for local communities," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar in a news release. "By confronting the growing impact of the invasive barred owl and expanding the scientific foundation for wise management of our forests, we can give communities, foresters, and land managers additional tools they need to forge a healthier and more productive future for our forests."
This isn't the first time the government has authorized killing wild animals to protect others--The AP reports California sea lions have been killed in recent years to preserve salmon in the Columbia River.
The service would kill or transfer approximately 257 to 8,960 barred owls.
Should the government let natural selection take its course or is it vital to protect this endangered specie? Weigh in below.
Read more: CNN