Monthly Archives: February 2014

The KQED Do Now Predator brings up the question on the morality of killing one species to save another. Recently the spotted owl has become an endangered species because the logging industry has destroyed the habitat of the owls. Similarly the nonnative owl, the barred owl, a larger more aggressive bird, has also been disrupting the spotted owl as well. Some researchers have been conducting an experiment that kills off the barred owl, in order to save the spotted owl. The question is: Is it right to kill off one species to save another?

The question is much larger than one species fate though. All species are part of an intricate food web that must be kept in balanced. By eliminating one species the rest of the food web becomes disrupted. For example the animals further down on the web become more abundant because they are not being eaten, while the animals further up are dying off because they lost a source of food. The predators will either die or will have to find a new source of food, disrupting more food webs. By deciding to kill off an entire species, a person must consider the consequences of how important the species was in the food web.


The reason that people are asking whether or not it is right to kill off a species is because they feel morally obligated to because they were the cause of the spotted owl becoming endangered. People should really be asking the question of how can we change so this problem does not occur again. Evolution should happen naturally and not selected by man, so how can this be changed. One way to consider is to change laws that can protect the habitats of animals and also limiting the numbers of the invasive species.

Killing off a species is a complicated question to answer because of the major consequences involved. Hopefully people find a way to save both birds, but if not people need to use this as an example to move forward. By moving forward, the ecosystem can maintain a natural evolution.