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

Date: October 12, 2017

RMRS scientists are leading the effort to predict the joint and interactive effects of forest restoration, wildfire, and climate change on the Mexican spotted owl


Background

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. RMRS scientists are leading a cutting-edge 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.
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.

Key Findings

  • The RMRS team used multi-scale species distribution modeling to produce an improved understanding of the species’ habitat ecology and patterns of occurrence.
  • The RMRS 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.

 

 

Featured Publications

Wan, Ho Yi ; McGarigal, Kevin ; Ganey, Joseph L. ; Lauret, Valentin ; Timm, Brad C. ; Cushman, Samuel A. , 2017


Principal Investigators: 
Principal Investigators - External: 
Ho Yi Wan - Graduate Student NAU
Kevin McGarigal Co-investigator - UMass