[Tweeters] Spotted Owl and Indicator Species

Ingrid Ossanna taiona at centurytel.net
Mon Dec 13 20:37:45 PST 2004

Hello Twetters:

An indicator species (the Spotted Owl) serves as an early warning system that a community or an ecosystem is being degraded. Examples of past indicator species that have given us warning signs of degradation are the Brown Pelican, American Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon.

As an indicator species, the Spotted owl is asking us a question - what environmental degradation is taking place and what are the potential consequences. 

It's estimated that since 1620, 95% of the United States virgin forests have vanished ( ninety-five percent). It is very informative to look at a map of the United States to see what amount of land is actually set aside for national parks, forests, BLM, refuges and other federal lands. In my mind and some like-minded people, all of earth's remaining virgin forests should be considered non-renewable resources. They should not be cut down. Their long-term ecological services are far more important than their short-term economic gain. 

My concern lies with the exponential rate of environmental degradation our planet faces where habitat destruction and species extinction are becoming an accepted result of modern living. When peregrines could not hatch their offspring and Bald Eagle's ability to navigate the skies was compromised by large quantities of DDT in their system, they were not the only ones being affected. As an indicator species they were a warning sign of potential human impact. DDT was found in human breast milk. 

By focusing our discussion on Barred vs. Spotted Owl we may be missing the forest for the trees. There is an integrity to a healthy forest that should inspire us to find out more about it, and make it possible for our children and grandchildren to do the same.

Thank you for listening one more time regarding this subject.

Ingrid Ossanna

Elma, Washington

taiona at centurytel.net

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