Check your state Natural Heritage Program (or that of a nearby state if your state doesn't have one) on the internet. Find one species that is threatened or endangered in your area. What kinds of factors have lead to that species being listed as threatened or endangered? What actions have been undertaken in attempts to try to ensure survival of the species? What else could be done to minimize the damage and the danger to this species?
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Though many communities don't realize it, the fact is there are numerous species, plants, and insects all around us that are listed on the endangered or threatened list. One of the most unique species found on the endangered list is that of the barn owl or also known as the monkey faced owl. This bird can be found on numerous state endangered lists across the nation. I've selected the state of Wisconsin's Natural Heritage Program to review some of the reasons why this owl is endangered and what actions have been undertaken to ensure survival.
One of the most unique aspects of the bar owl is that it's the most widely distributed of all owls and is found on all continents except Antarctica. Just like many species that are on the endangered or threatened list mankind is the biggest contributor to this bird being endangered. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (2012), many farms and farmland have been purchased by realtors and new subdivisions have been built which has affected the barn owls food source and habitat. Another major contributor to the barn owls population is that of bigger owls that are known to prey on the barn owl. For example, the great horned owls are the barn owl's number one natural enemy.
Ensuring that future generations are able to enjoy the beautiful barn owl many states Wildlife and Game Departments have implemented methods to protect these birds. These departments, to include volunteers and non-profit organizations, have teamed up to erect nesting sites that are suspended a top a pole in the shape of box. Additionally, they've cordoned off areas with known populations to keep people from impacting these sites. Recently in the state of Wisconsin the Department of Natural Resources have educated land holders to preserve existing grasslands and acquire additional land that can be converted to barn owl forges.
In closing, other factors that can be done to preserve this endangered species is to educate and inform the public through posting signs or attending grass root projects within the community. Additionally, one can volunteer time and/or money to assist with the preservation and also look for community members to assist in projects. The community that these species reside in must be educated and this is the primary means to get this species off the endangered list.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (2012). "Wisconsin Endangered and Threatened Species." Retrieved from http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/endangeredresources/documents/WiETList.pdf on November 19, 2012.
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