Using timber-survey data to assess habitat of the threatened Mexican spotted owl
The Mexican spotted owl's southwestern roosting habitat has increased significantly on public land, is almost disappearing on private land, but has been maintained overall since its Recovery Plan was implemented. That and other findings from research at the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Ogden, Utah, improve and expand information available for a pending update of the federal Mexican spotted owl recovery plan. The bird has been listed as a threatened species since 1993. Researchers drew on timber-survey data for 1995-99 with data for 2001-07 to assess roosting habitat in the Upper Gila Mountains Recovery Unit from central Arizona to west-central New Mexico. In addition to supporting the recovery plan update, this work also exemplifies how to do a trend analysis on a large-scale landscape and how to apply timber-oriented metrics to wildlife habitat.