Habitat associations of California spotted owls in the central Sierra Nevada

M. A. Bias, R. J. Gutierrez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Studied the distribution and roosting and nesting habitat of Strix occidentalis occidentalis throughout a 355km2 study area in the central Sierra Nevada, Eldorado and Placer counties, California. Fewer owls were detected on private land than expected from its relative land area. Slope; total canopy closure; number of possible nest trees; maximum shrub height; basal areas of old-growth, medium, pole, and live trees; percent ground cover by litter; and small and large dead or dying woody vegetation were different between public and private land. Habitat types of mixed-conifer, large-tree successional stage, with ≥70% total canopy closure were most abundant (38.1%) on public land; whereas mixed-conifer, pole-medium successional stage, with ≥70% total canopy closure habitat types dominated private land (44.1%). Roost sites occurred in habitats with relatively greater total canopy closure, and basal areas of snags, medium, and old-growth trees than the abundance of habitat (Johnson 1980). Nests of owls occurred in habitats with relatively greater basal areas of live trees, snags, medium, mature, and old-growth trees; and total canopy closure than found in the abundance of habitat. Twenty-six of 29 observed roosts (89.7%) and all 11 owl nests were on public land. Appropriate silvicultural and logging practices for the conservation of California spotted owl roost and nest habitats include adequate representation of all tree size classes, especially mature and old-growth, combined with essential habitat elements. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-595
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Volume56
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Habitat associations of California spotted owls in the central Sierra Nevada'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this