How to use the big horn to protect your home
The Great Horned Owl has been recognised as Australia’s most threatened bird by the Endangered Species Conservation Council (ESA).
The iconic species is listed as “endangered” by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and has been classified as critically endangered by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
“The habitat is being threatened by the destruction of its wetlands and by development of industrial sites for oil and gas,” WWF said in a statement last year.
“Widespread and irreversible habitat loss is likely to exacerbate the species’ vulnerability to extinction and, in turn, the effects of climate change on the species are likely to be more pronounced than previously thought.”
“These are challenging times for the conservation of this iconic bird,” said WWF general manager Stephen Langford.
The NSW government, the Department of Primary Industries, the NSW Government Conservation and Forestry Agency, and the NSW Department of Environment and Heritage all released statements on the extinction status of the bird, which is also known as the horned owls black owl.
“[The NSW Government] is working closely with the National Parks Service to help preserve the birds habitat in the NT,” the statement said.
But conservation groups said it was too early to be calling the state’s announcement “the big horn” to the species.
For the first time in its history, the Australian government is formally announcing the species as critically threatened, the National Park and Wildlife Service said.
“The Horned Owls are critically endangered,” the agency said in its statement.
It said the state government would announce its next actions at a later date.
“We need to ensure the protection of these birds as the species is threatened with extinction,” it said.
A spokesman for the NSW government said the decision to formally recognise the species was taken after a thorough consultation process.
“Following an extensive review of the state and federal governments response to the conservation needs of the Horned owl, the state took a decision to make this announcement today,” the spokesman said.