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Summary

Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) are diurnal raptor predators which have experienced population declines due to habitat loss across much of their range in North America. Within the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, Burrowing Owls occur in areas associated with agriculture or open land and canal trail right-of-ways. Unfortunately, when these open spaces become developed, Burrowing Owls may be translocated and not all owl translocations are successful. By describing the landscape and microhabitat features of known owl residents, natural resource managers who relocate Burrowing Owls in the city can seek features similar to habitats utilized by resident urban owls. The goal of this research was to identify (1) Burrowing Owl abundance, detectability, and occupancy rate, (2) habitat characteristics of occupied owl locations, and (3) types of features (e.g., perch types) used by owls in agricultural fields and along canal trails in the southeast valley of Phoenix, Arizona to aid resource managers in selecting appropriate translocation sites.

Personnel

Timeline

April 2011 — Ongoing