BC List Status:
Red (Candidates for- Extirpated, Endangered, or Threatened status)
Barn Owl overlaps in distribution and habitat preferences with several other owls on the South Coast including Short-eared Owl and Barred Owl. In the agricultural and old-field habitats of the South Coast (e.g. Colony Farm Regional Park, Burnaby lowlands, Delta and south Surrey), Barn Owls can be found co-occurring quite extensively with Short-eared Owls. The overall pale, buff/golden coloured plumage with little or no dark spotting or barring, and the white, heart shaped facial disk distinguish Barn Owl from these other species.
Distribution coincides with areas undergoing significant urbanization and natural habitat loss including draining and infilling of wetlands and industrialization/conversion of limited farmland foraging habitats.
Development and fragmentation of habitats inevitably results in lower population numbers which can be exacerbated by severe winters, a significant source of mortality for British Columbia populations.
Vole species, a primary prey species, are also susceptible to large population fluctuations and vulnerable to land use changes and changes to grassland habitats from spread of invasive grass species (e.g. non-native reed canary grass species).
Vehicle collisions and road mortality will likely increase with expanded road and highway development.
The use of rodenticides for the control of rodents in agricultural and urban areas has resulted in direct mortality as well as sub-lethal effects and impacts to prey abundance.
Apply conservation and management objectives as set out in provincial recovery plan for the Barn Owl (Tyto alba) in Brtish Columbia (2014). Apply “Best Management Practices for Raptor Conservation during Urban and Rural Land Development in British Columbia”. Investigate complimentary conservation measures as recommended in the “Draft Recovery Strategy for the Barn Owl (Tyto alba) in Ontario”. Assess, inventory and monitor using methodology set out in the RISC standards # 11 Inventory Methods for Raptors (Version 2.0).
This species is subject to protections and prohibitions under the Federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) as well as the BC Wildlife Act and is Identified Wildlife under the Forest and Range Practices Act. Habitat for this species may also be governed under provincial and federal regulations including the Fish Protection Act and Federal Fisheries Act as well as Regional and local municipal bylaws.