Government plans 'open season' on Hawaii's cattle egrets and barn owls

Government plans 'open season' on Hawaii's cattle egrets and barn owls
Published: Dec. 19, 2013 at 10:47 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2013 at 4:21 AM HST
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The Federal Government may soon declare open season on birds you see just about everywhere…cattle egrets.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has published proposed rules that would allow state and federal agencies to euthanize egrets and also barn owls.

Both birds are introduced species and are encroaching on native birds.

For instance, barn owls are known to eat native baby Pueo and cattle egrets dominate habitats where endangered Ae'o or Hawaiian stilts live.

The proposed rules have their share of supporters and critics. "We're talking about killing an animal so that other animals may survive we're talking about nothing that we humans have introduced has done well by the islands," said Ann Goody of Three Ring Ranch Exotic Animal Sanctuary. "To blame these birds for the entire problem is naïve and to kill them is just so abhorrent to anyone who loves animals and nature and wildlife," said Sydney Ross Singer, Director, Good Shepherd Foundation.

The public comment period on these proposed rules ends February 3 and after that a decision will be made.

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