Death of three Owls in Channahon

By Fernanda Gonzalez

Three Owl investigation.

The ISNR Game Warden Joe Smith reported that they are investigating the death of the three Owls. He states that it seems that the death cause was some sort of posining. The results of the actual cause of its deaths are expected soon. Until further notice anyone who has any information that could help lead to the arrest of the offender please notify your local police station. A $1000 cash reward is given to the person who helps with information leading to the offenders arrest.

What has been caused from these deaths?

After the death of these three Owls, a farmer, in Channahon has notice that in his fields mice have been eating his crops, and seeds. The farmer himself estimated that the mice have eaten at least ten to fifteen percent of his crops. He claims that the mouse plague is a bigger problem than the locust plague. This has left us wondering, Is the death of just three Owls cause all these mice to eat the farmers crop?

Owl's and Mice's relationships.

Barn Owl's are found to eat about three or four mice a day everyday of the year. This helps keep the mice population stable, so the mice don't over populated. Barn owls eat about 1,314 mice per year. Decreasing the population of mice to a stable amount. If three owls die then that would mean that 3,942 mice that survived to reproduce per year. Therefore increasing the population of mice by a great amount.

Experimental Investigation on this situation.

Scientist can collect owl pellets: which are like hair balls that cat throw up, but from an owl it is throw up of all the bones and fur/hair that is cannot digest from what it has eaten; in the owl pellets the scientist can break them apart and separate the bone and fur in the pellets. With the bones the scientist can try to place them back to the structure it used to form or examine the bone to see what species it came from. They are looking at the bones to see what most barn owl's feed on, which is mostly found to be mice. This can help give the scientist information and get numbers and percentages of the mice eaten by the barn owl. Which can then later on help identify whether the three owl deaths cause the mice to eat all the farmers crops.

Experiment Results.

In the experiment the barn owls give off about 1.8 pellets a day and there is an average of 3.6 mice skulls in total for the pellets. Which then leads us to about 1,314 mice eaten per year by one owl. So this shows us that one owls death leads to about 1,314 mice that survive that year to reproduce and increase the population even more. Therefore answering our question 'Is the death of just three Owls cause all these mice to eat the farmers crop?'. Yes, the death of just three owls can most likely be the reason all these mice have been able to eat the farmers' crops because of the amount the population increases dramatically because of just one owls death since it eats so many mice to help stabilize the population of mice.
Important! To those of you that are like why am I even reading this. There is a reason, one you learned something. But on a serious note you have learned that with out owls our food is being destroyed and just by the death of just three owls. This is showing what a great difference just three birds can make on a population size along with our crop production. Next time you see a any species be thankful they are here because without them they can cause a great change in our lives and populations.