Officials in the Canadian province of British Columbia have ordered all regional spotted owls to be collected to prevent the birds from going extinct.
The Globe and Mail said Thursday that after the number of spotted owls in the province began to diminish, regional officials called for a breeding program involving the remaining bids to save the species.
Yet the conservation measure must first gain funding from the government as the zoo-based project requires $3.4 million to operate during the next half-decade.
The proposed breeding project would represent the first of its kind in the world involving spotted owls.
Similar successful breeding attempts were made previously with wild owls such as the burrowing owl.
But some wildlife experts have criticized the proposed conservation measure for its limitations in regard to the new owls' future.
"The danger," Western Canada Wilderness Committee official Gwen Barlee told the newspaper, "is that once they have bred some birds in captivity they will have nowhere to release them, except into clear-cuts."
Copyright 2007 by United Press International
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