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Endangered owl breeding program welcomes five new chicks to Langley

More than half of Canada’s northern owl population resides at the Fort Langley facility

The northern spotted owl breeding program is celebrating its most successful year, and to better support the endangered species the centre is hosting a fundraiser this Saturday.

“We ended the season with five chicks, which is the best we’ve ever done in 12 years of doing this,” said Jasmine McCulligh, the facility coordinator of the breeding program.

READ MORE: ‘Best breeding season yet’ expected for Langley’s endangered owls

To provide the new chicks around the clock care the program incurred a large increase in costs.

“This year we were doing hand-raising and 24-hour care at the centre all through April and May and into June, as well. So we had about 10 weeks of 24-hour operations at the breeding centre, which typically we only do about four weeks,” said McCulligh.

“But the resulting five chicks definitely made it worth it.”

Only 30 spotted owls remain in Canada, and more than half of these owls reside at the breeding facility in Langley, according to the program’s website.

The facility is currently home to 25 northern spotted owls and 14 of these were born in captivity.

READ MORE: Slow, steady or spry, lace up and DASH to help endangered species

Founded in 2007, the program hopes to house 10 breeding pairs by the year 2020 and release at least 10 offspring each year for the next 15 to 20 years.

The fundraiser will be held on Aug. 24 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Kwantlen First Nation Cultural Centre, where guests will enjoy a catered dinner, an appearance from a surprise guest, and get a chance to win more than $2,500 in prizes.

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