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Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Mexican spotted owls, forest restoration, fire, and climate change

Photo of Mexican spotted owl (MSO) nesting and roosting habitat suitability in the Sacramento Mountains predicted by (A) the multi-scale model, (B) the top single-scale model (200-m radius), and (C) the Mogollon Plateau multi-scale model. Black markers represent MSO locations from the entire validation dataset.Mexican spotted owl (MSO) nesting and roosting habitat suitability in the Sacramento Mountains predicted by (A) the multi-scale model, (B) the top single-scale model (200-m radius), and (C) the Mogollon Plateau multi-scale model. Black markers represent MSO locations from the entire validation dataset.Snapshot : The Mexican spotted owl is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act and is vulnerable to habitat loss from wildfire and climate change. Forest Service scientists are leading a modeling effort to predict the interactive effects of forest restoration, wildfire, and climate change on the distribution, population size, and population connectivity of Mexican spotted owl across the Southwestern United States.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Cushman, Samuel A. Ganey, Joseph L.
Research Location : Sacramento Mountains, Arizona
Research Station : Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS)
Year : 2017
Highlight ID : 1349

Summary

The Mexican spotted owl is listed as a Threatened Species under the Endangered Species Act and is vulnerable to habitat loss from wildfire and climate change. Forest Service scientists are leading a modeling effort to predict the interactive effects of forest restoration, wildfire, and climate change on the distribution, population size, and population connectivity of Mexican spotted owl across the Southwestern United States. Mexican spotted owl (MSO) nesting and roosting habitat suitability in the Sacramento Mountains predicted by (A) the multi-scale model, (B) the top single-scale model (200-m radius), and (C) the Mogollon Plateau multi-scale model. Black markers represent MSO locations from the entire validation dataset. The team of scientists used multi-scale species distribution modeling to produce an improved understanding of the species’ habitat ecology and patterns of occurrence. The team critically evaluated the relationships between Mexican spotted owl distribution and wildfire and forest restoration treatments and identified several areas where information is insufficient and further research is necessary.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Northern Arizona University, University of Massachusettes