Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Barred owls’ threat to survival of spotted owl in the northwest is Audubon topic

A female northern spotted owl. Courtesy photo.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — On Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m., Redbud Audubon will present a Zoom program on the explosive growth of barred owl populations in the Northwest and their impacts on spotted owls.

Barred owls have been increasing in forests from Northern California to British Columbia for several decades and are now imperiling northern spotted owls throughout their range. The newcomers outcompete the smaller owls for both territory and prey.

To register for the program, click on the registration link on the homepage of Redbud Audubon’s website at www.redbudaudubon.org. The Zoom link for the program will be sent on the day of the presentation.

Peter Carlson, currently working for Colorado State University as a long-time member of the research team for the studies on national forest lands, will discuss some of the impacts of barred owls, the species’ recent trends, and status of the removal studies.

While the impacts of barred owls are of real concern, that is only one of several ongoing threats to the spotted owl.

Carlson will place the barred owl issue in the context of multiple stressors on spotted owls. These include catastrophic wildfires, historical forest management practices and climate change.

Carlson began studying spotted owls in the San Bernardino Mountains in 1992 and has worked on the NW California demography study since 1994.

He worked briefly with barred owls and other raptors in their native habitat in Illinois in 1986, prior to beginning his Master of Science work in wildlife ecology at the University of Florida.

He previously worked for Humboldt State University as the field coordinator for the demography study, and since 2005 has worked through Colorado State University as a Research Associate for the study. He lives in Arcata.

Researcher Peter Carlson with a male northern spotted owl. Courtesy photo.

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