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Mexican Spotted Owls

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by adkramoo, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. adkramoo

    adkramoo Guest

    Another topic of discussion at the BLM meeting was the endangered Mexican Spotted Owl. The BLM had nearly finished their research when a personnel change ground the effort to a temporary halt. What was found is mostly good news.

    It had been reported earlier, on this site, that upper Butler Canyon was the location of nesting owls. They have pinned that down to the main fork, which unlike the west upper forks, is not an important canyoneering venue. Other nesting owls are in Larry Canyon, but again, the location is between the 2 eastern exits, so if one takes the first exit, no encounters will happen. There is unconfirmed reports of another nesting site in Twin Corral Box, down canyon from Alcatraz, but below the standard exit from the canyon.

    If closures do occur in a location, in the future, the timing is usually in the spring, until around August 1st. Nothing is in the works. Providing this information, about owl locations is a bit sensitive, but my rational is that we are responsible community and no one is taking off to these locations, based on this information and that if someone did, it would be done at a discrete distance and with respect.

    Tom had received some preliminary results from owl studies in the Zion area that report that human visitation may not be as damaging and disruptive as once thought, but the jury is still out. Perhaps he can share what he heard, if he can and if he hasn't departed for California yet. Walk softly, my friends Ram
  2. davewyo1

    davewyo1 Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "adkramoo" <adkramoo@...> wrote:
    Another topic of discussion at the BLM meeting was the endangered > Mexican Spotted Owl.

    The Mexican Spotted Owl is listed as "Threatened" rather than "Endangered". http://tinyurl.com/35mtwd

    Dave
  3. restrac2000

    restrac2000 Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "adkramoo" <adkramoo@...> wrote:
    Another topic of discussion at the BLM meeting was the endangered > Mexican Spotted Owl. The BLM had nearly finished their research when a > personnel change ground the effort to a temporary halt. What was found > is mostly good news. >

    Working a report about wildlife-recreation relationships that should monopolize most of my upcoming spring break. Have this article which may be of interest to some folks, dates back to 2003.

    http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdf?vid=4&hid=18&sid=01087d06-e403-4be1-af5d-8ddbb043b4c7%40SRCSM2

    Youth

    PS hope that link works
  4. davewyo1

    davewyo1 Guest

  5. restrac2000

    restrac2000 Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "davewyo1" <davewyo1@...> wrote:
    An interesting article on Mexican Spotted Owls on the Colorado Plateau. > http://biology.usgs.gov/s&#43;t/noframe/r027.htm
    Dave >

    They used to have extensive information at the US Fish and Wildlife Service website, which is associated with NAU, but it appears to have disappeared in the last year or so. If you can get a hold of a copy of the Recovery Plan (1995) the information and level of detail is astounding, as I imagine it would be for any species being listed. I was lucky enough to be working with a professor that was on the Colorado Plateau working group that helped develop the plan so I had access to some early documentation. I am still learning how complex and difficult it is to establish and protect habitat for threatened and endangered species...its a long process.

    As far as recreational impacts, there was a series of studies that came out of a NAU student's thesis in the late 90's-early 2000's. He studied several owl nesting locations in southern utah national parks. He concluded that hikers do impact how often an owl flushes from its roost or nest, which is often correlated with parental care, energy expenditures and potential heat stresses. The owl has often been found to be more affected by type of user and number of parties a day. Yet he also found that the nesting locations are often in rarely hiked locations and accessed at rates that statistically would not affect the bird.

    His primary recommendations were a series of buffer zones, each with a corresponding level of impact to bird and hiker. The less the impact to the owl, the fewer canyons accessible, a less conservative approach only closing approximately 25% of the canyons. More importantly, his summoned that none of the canyons studied needed closures do to user trends.

    What does this mean for us? Seems that after its listing in 1993 the Mexican Spotted Owl was studied heavily and protected with extra measures. Listing prompts immense efforts from the agencies involved, considering one of the primary directives of the Endangered Species Act is protection of habitat. Understandably this involves conservative measures of management, including recreational impacts. If studies continue to provide evidence that hikers in Utah have limited impact on the survival of the species then we will most likely see canyons remain open or open back up to the public. However, if we see conflicting studies we will likely see seasonal closures or limitations on party sizes and access numbers.

    Interesting studies indeed, though I have 2 more pages to go on my research paper. Recreation-wildlife interactions is proving an interesting field of study, hope to dive a little bit further into research in the next couple years.

    Youth
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