Use of private lands for foraging by California spotted owls in the central Sierra Nevada

Perry J. Williams, Sheila A. Whitmore, R. J. Gutiérrez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The use of private land by owls has long been of interest to wildlife managers in the Sierra Nevada, California, USA, because private lands could contribute to owl conservation if it is used extensively. Therefore, we studied the use of private lands for foraging by 14 California spotted owls (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) in the central Sierra Nevada, California during 2006. We modeled foraging locations as a function of 2 land-ownership categories within an owl's territory: public and private land. The log probability of an owl using a public-land location was 15% greater than for a private-land location. Private-land distribution was relatively consistent with respect to the geometric center of owl home ranges, suggesting that our result was not influenced by a peripheral distribution of private land in owl home ranges. Based on our findings, national forest lands within our study area currently have more foraging habitat for California spotted owls than do private lands. We recommend that managers consider owl use of private land within the context of our results when developing conservation strategies for California spotted owls in the central Sierra Nevada.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-709
Number of pages5
JournalWildlife Society Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 The Wildlife Society.


  • California spotted owl
  • Strix occidentalis occidentalis
  • managed forests
  • public land
  • radiotelemetry
  • resource selection function


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