Argos DCS System Use Agreement of the Month
– January 2017
Spatial Ecology of Barred Owls & Spotted Owls
University of Wisconsin – Department of Forest & Wildlife Ecology
Barred owls have colonized much of the Pacific Northwest, resulting in substantial declines in the abundance and distribution of the endangered northern spotted owl. Currently, barred owls are relatively rare in the Sierra Nevada, the core range of the declining California spotted owl (CSO). However, increases in barred owl abundance in the Sierra Nevada could accelerate CSO declines. Our research is designed in part to understand the spatial ecology of the nascent barred owl expansion in the Sierra Nevada in order to guide management of both the barred owl and the CSO.
1) track dispersing juvenile barred owls to determine dispersal capabilities and locate previously unknown aggregations of adult barred owls over larger spatial scales than might be possible with surveys;
1) We expect juvenile dispersal to be characterized by periods of rapid, long-distance movements punctuated by periods of relative stasis. This pattern would likely be driven by the tension between an intrinsic behavioral disposition towards dispersal and the recognition of patches of high-quality habitat. Dispersal distances may be low, because there are likely relatively few territorial adult conspecifics preventing them from establishing territories, or they could be high because the birds may move until a suitable mate is found.