The past year was filled with anticipation as the Northern Spotted Owl Breeding Program celebrated the historic releases of three northern spotted owls in 2022. These releases marked a significant milestone in our mission to reintroduce offspring born at the breeding centre into the wild.
However, amidst the excitement, we also encountered some unfortunate news. Two of the released owls from last summer were found deceased, while another was injured. Despite these setbacks, the Northern Spotted Owl Breeding Program team remains committed to learning from these experiences and forging ahead.
We have invested 15 years in nurturing and caring for this remarkable species, witnessing their growth from the first heartbeat to their first flights. The dedication of our team is unwavering, and we are grateful for the support and condolences we have received.
Looking towards the future, population growth is a key focus for us. With the anticipation of an expanding breeding population, we embarked on the construction of four new duplexes, creating space for eight owls at our breeding center. These new aviaries, the first to be built in over five years, signify the growing success of our program. Excitingly, seven chicks were born in 2023. Throughout the summer, these young owls learned invaluable lessons from their parents and foster parents, preparing them for their upcoming transition to their new aviaries in the fall.
In addition to our breeding efforts, we have continued our collaboration with the Spô’zêm First Nation, working together to restore Skelúle?, the owl, to its ancestral skies. Our partnership has deepened our understanding of the cultural significance of Skelúle? to First Nations across British Columbia.
We are grateful for the knowledge shared with us, and we embrace this ongoing learning journey.
As each year presents new challenges, we draw inspiration from the owls. Their presence and calls remind us of our responsibility to care for them and help prepare them for life in the wild. We are dedicated to their well-being and the preservation of this remarkable species. Thank you for joining us on this journey of conservation and discovery. We hope you find this edition of our newsletter informative and inspiring.
This article was originally published in our 2023 Newsletter.