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JWM study: Where do California spotted owls forage?


Cara J

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California spotted owls have been declining for two decades — largely due to habitat loss from logging. In addition, a warming climate has brought with it more severe droughts and fires across the owls’ range, which extends from the Sierra Nevada to the mountains of southern California. In an effort to better understand the impact of these forest fires on the subspecies, Monica Bond, principal scientist at the Wild Nature Institute — an organization that studies at-risk species — and long-time member of The Wildlife Society, and her colleagues recently examined the types of habitat that the owls tend to choose for foraging. They published their findings in the Journal of Wildlife Management. As part of the study, the team collected data from eight radio-tagged California spotted owls (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) a few years after the 2007 Slide Fire, which burned through over 12,000 acres of forest in southern California. They examined the severity of these fires across hardwood, conifer and mixed forests as well as where the owls chose to forage. Bond and her colleagues found that the owls foraged in low and high-severity burned forests depending on their availability as well as moderate-severity burns — which reinforced a [...]

 

Read more: http://wildlife.org/jwm-study-where-do-california-spotted-owls-forage/

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