The Northern and southern spotted owl populations are currently listed as threatened in the United States under the Endangered Species Act, which is administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The California spotted owl is not considered to be threatened nor endangered by the USFWS, however, it considered to be a species of special concern by the state of California and the United States Forest Service (USFS).
In February 2008, a federal judge reinforced a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to designate 8,600,000 acres (34,800 km2) in Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico as critical habitat for the owl. Also, more than 45,000 acres of private timberland in Washington will be managed to create, maintain and enhance habitat for spotted owls under the Safe Harbor Agreement.
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