USDA Forest Service

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Enterprise Program
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Northern Spotted Owl Prediction Model Layer

TEAMS Enterprise Unit has developed a GIS model predicting core area locations for the northern spotted owl based on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife definition for “viable core area.”

This model has been tested on projects for the Mendocino, Shasta-Trinity, and Sierra National Forests. Results of the model have shown a high confidence predicting existing protected activity center locations and owl observations.

The model uses the latest vegetation data (strata layer) for the project area. Eveg ecotiles are used to fill in “no data” gaps in the strata layer to create a seamless vegetation layer representing the forest area. A team consisting of a wildlife biologist, silviculturist, and GIS specialist classify the strata vegetation types as high nesting/roosting, moderate nesting /roosting, forage, dispersal, capable, and noncapable.

The final strata polygons are updated with the latest FACTS data, fire history, private harvests, and NAIP imagery. The final vegetation habitat layer gives an up-to-the-moment existing condition. A “potential core area” GIS layer is developed showing the total habitat classification for each area.

The TEAMS staff uses a rating of these potential core areas layer to describe the relative quality of each core area.



The TEAMS prediction model displays this rating system spatially in GIS across the project area as a series of potential core area circles.


An Adobe pdf file shows the project area and the TEAMS prediction model.


A spreadsheet displays the total habitat of each potential core area by habitat classification.


A TEAMS Wildlife biologist makes recommendations on findings of the TEAMS prediction layer.

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US Forest Service - TEAMS Enterprise Unit
Last Modified: Thursday, 17 September 2015 at 16:39:31 CDT

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