US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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field work in southern Arizona

Joseph L. Ganey

Research Wildlife Biologist
2500 South Pine Knoll Drive
United States

Phone: 928-556-2156
Contact Joseph L. Ganey

Current Research

Effects of fuels-reduction treatments on Mexican spotted owls in the Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico. Monitoring dynamics of snag and log populations in southwestern mixed-conifer and ponderosa pine forests. Development of methodology allowing for monitoring owl population trend, with the ultimate goal of delisting the Mexican spotted owl from threatened status if trend data warrants such a change. Development of experimental and observational methods for monitoring and evaluating effects of fuels-reduction treatments on Mexican spotted owls, important prey species, and habitat components of both owls and their prey. Development of models of dynamics of snags and logs in southwestern forests for use in land management planning. Management recommendations relevant to management of spotted owl habitat and populations, habitat and populations of important owl prey, and snag and populations.

Research Interests

Multi-scale habitat relationships of native wildlife. Linking demography and habitat at multiple scales. Ecology of southwestern forests. Conservation of threatened and endangered species. Development and refinement of efficient monitoring methods. Ecology and demography of the Mexican spotted owl. Dynamics of snags in southwestern forests. Effects of climate change on native wildlife and their habitats.

Past Research

Land managers require high-quality scientific information to meet the many challenges inherent in managing public lands. This includes information on basic ecology of native species at various spatial and temporal scales, information on the dynamics of the systems those species inhabit, and information on how various management actions affect those dynamics. Managers also need more efficient monitoring methodologies, as well as ways to integrate monitoring data in management planning. These needs are criticial for managing public lands for sustainability and conservation of biodiversity in an era of changing climates and increasing demand on natural resources. This research addresses these information needs, providing information that allows for improved management and conservation of natural resources.

Why This Research is Important

  • Comprehensive studies of the ecology of the threatened Mexican spotted owl in Arizona and New Mexico.
  • Evaluation of methods for monitoring population status of Mexican spotted owls.
  • Long-term dynamics of snag populations and coarse woody debris in southwestern mixed-conifer and ponderosa pine forests.
  • Population dynamics of small mammals in mixed-conifer and ponderosa pine forests.
  • Recovery planning for the Mexican spotted owl.


  • Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA, B.S. Wildlife Management 1981
  • Northern Arizona University, M.S. Biology 1988
  • Northern Arizona University, Ph.D. Zoology 1991

Professional Experience

  • Research Wildlife Biologist, US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station
    1991 - Current

Awards & Recognition

  • Rocky Mountain Research Station Technology Transfer Publication Award, 2011
    Annual award for outstanding publication in technology transfer.
  • USDI Conservation Service Award for extraordinary service in the conservation of Americas wildlife., 1999
    This is the highest award given by the Department of Interior to persons not employed by the Department.
  • Wildlife Habitat Relationships Award. , 1996
    Presented for outstanding contributions to Arizona's wildlife habitat resources.

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Ecology of Mexican Spotted Owls in the Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico

Forest Service scientists identify owl habitat health, allowing managers to focus restoration treatments outside of owl nest areas.


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

The Mexican spotted owl is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act and is vulnerable to habitat loss from wildfire and c ...


Monitoring Bird Communities with Citizen Science in the Sky Islands

The Sky Islands of southeastern Arizona have bird species found nowhere else in the U.S., which leads to a vibrant state and local ecotourism in ...


Scientists Study Endangered Mexican Spotted Owl

Research provides information useful to managers charged with conserving and restoring Mexican spotted owls and their habitat


Southwestern Forests: The Importance of Snags and Logs

Snags (standing dead trees) and logs are a critical component of ecosystems. They contribute to decay dynamics and other ecological processes in ...


Study Looks Into Nesting Habitats of Threatened Mexican Spotted Owls

Scientists worked with land managers to study nesting habitats of the Mexican spotted owl in New Mexico. Findings provide a template for preser ...


Last updated on : 11/29/2018