Private Project

What Can Be Saved: Owl vs. Owl

A squeeze of a shotgun trigger at close range, and a big, beautiful, brown and gray owl falls from its high perch to the forest floor.
Each carcass adds to a running tally: more than 1,600 deaths so far in a controversial experiment by the U.S. government to test whether the threatened northern spotted owl can be saved by killing its aggressive East Coast cousin, the barred owl.
This is what it has come to. In a world where countless species are threatened by climate change and other human activity, we sometimes have to take desperate measures to save what can be saved. Is this a role we should play? Is it OK to kill some creatures to save others?

  • Marshall Ritzel
  • Jon Fahey
  • Kathy Young
  • Alicia Chang
  • Marshall Ritzel
  • Jon Fahey
  • AP Health & Science Department
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Short, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
    Conservation, environmental
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 15, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Marshall Ritzel, Jon Fahey

Marshall Ritzel is a multiformat journalist on The Associated Press Health & Science team.

Jon Fahey is Health & Science editor for the AP, overseeing a team of journalists covering the environment, climate, medicine, public health, health care and consumer health.

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Director Statement

What Can Be Saved?

A multimedia series by The Associated Press about the people who, against towering odds, are restoring and preserving ecosystems and species in a world damaged by human activity.

This AP series was produced in partnership with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.