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The preservation of the Northern Spotted Owl has been a passionate subject for environmentalists who aim to preserve forests from aggressive logging. Much of the Pacific Northwest forest has been cleared without use of sustainable techniques, in response to high demands for lumber to make houses and furniture. These ‘clear-cutting’ practices were especially committed during the 1990’s, leading the Northern Spotted Owl to be declared a species threatened with extinction. Over the past ten years, the Northern Spotted Owl’s population has declined by 40-60%.
Considered a keystone species, scientists believe the owl’s existence may heavily impact all living parts of the forest’s ecosystem, from plants to animals. Ecologists believe that an imbalance may lead to a state where the trees cannot regenerate and the other living forms and potential resources in the forest would perish.
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