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In the Pacific Northwest, the range expansion of Barred Owls has contributed to a conservation crisis for Northern Spotted Owls, which are being displaced from their old-growth forest habitat. How will this interaction between species play out in the Sierra Nevada, where Barred Owls are just starting to move into the range of the California Spotted Owl? New research published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications suggests that wildlife managers may still be able to head off similar problems in critical areas of the Golden State—if they act now.
The University of Wisconsin's Connor Wood and his colleagues used passive acoustic monitoring to survey Barred Owl populations over two years, deploying audio recorders over an area spanning more than 6,000 square kilometers across two national forests in northern California. Locating owl calls in the audio data allowed them to determine which sites were and were not occupied by owls. They found a 2.6-fold increase in the amount of territory occupied by Barred Owls between 2017 and 2018, and the old forest habitat preferred by Spotted Owls was the most likely to be colonized.
Populations - Species - Densities - Generations - Species
Populations of invasive species typically remain at low densities for several generations before growing rapidly. Because intervening to control a potentially damaging invasive species requires many resources, land managers often wait for strong evidence that a species will pose a threat before taking action....
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