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Fear and fury as the last spotted owl in Canada fights for survival

Still Waters

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On a rainy spring morning, huddled under the shelter of an ancient cedar, Jared Hobbs hoots, whoops and squawks. In years past, he could lure curious owls by drawing on his extensive repertoire. Among them are the whoo whoo whoo whooo territorial calls, alarm barks and a simple “helicopter” breeding call that coo coo coo coos into the air.

The calls bounce through the thick stand of trees and dissolve into the vast British Columbia rainforest.

Hobbs doesn’t wait for a response. Only one spotted owl remains in the Canadian wild, less than two kilometres from where he stands. Her precise location in the misty forest is a closely guarded secret and her lonely presence has become a symbol of the country’s inability to save a species on the verge of destruction.


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