Regional Status

The Northern Spotted Owl was listed as federally threatened in 1990. The Washington population has continued to rapidly decline since then, at about seven percent per year. Causes of the continuing decline likely include loss and fragmentation of old-growth forest habitat and increasing competition with barred owls.

In 2011 the US Fish and Wildlife Service released a Northern Spotted Owl recovery plan. In 2012, in compliance with an order from US District Court, the Fish and Wildlife Service finalized the Northern Spotted Owl critical habitat designation.