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Habitat fragmentation and the Burrowing Owls (Speotyto cunicularia) in SaskatchewanAuthor(s): Robert G. Warnock; Paul C. James
Source: In: Duncan, James R.; Johnson, David H.; Nicholls, Thomas H., eds. Biology and conservation of owls of the Northern Hemisphere: 2nd International symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-190. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 477-486.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: North Central Research Station
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DescriptionThe relationship between landscape (125,664 ha circular plots) fragmentation patterns and the spatial distribution of Burrowing Owls (Speotyto cunicularia) was investigated in the heavily fragmented grasslands of Saskatchewan. Data were collected from 152 Burrowing Owl sites and 250 random sites located on 1990 LANDSAT-TM satellite images and 1:250,000 scale topographic maps. Habitat continuity, patch dimensions and isolation of sites were characterized by 15 variables. The stepwise discriminant function analyses showed that owls were not nesting randomly across the landscape. Habitat continuity and patch dimensions were more important than isolation in describing differences between owl and randomly selected sites within the core, but not in the periphery. The preferred soil type for nesting, lacustrine, was more limited in the core range which may also influence the nesting distribution of Burrowing Owls. These results suggest that Burrowing Owls chose the best remaining and not the largest pieces of habitat, near other owl sites.
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CitationWarnock, Robert G.; James, Paul C. 1997. Habitat fragmentation and the Burrowing Owls (Speotyto cunicularia) in Saskatchewan. In: Duncan, James R.; Johnson, David H.; Nicholls, Thomas H., eds. Biology and conservation of owls of the Northern Hemisphere: 2nd International symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-190. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 477-486.
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