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    Author(s): R.J. Gutiérrez; Douglas J. Tempel; M. Zachariah Peery
    Date: 2017
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-254. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 239-262
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (364.0 KB)


    Spotted owl populations found in southern and central coastal California have received much less attention than those inhabiting the Sierra Nevada because of economic (effect of habitat conservation measures on timber harvest) and social issues (community stability and desire for naturally functioning ecosystems). Yet there has been continued concern over the status of owl populations in this region since the first technical assessment of the California spotted owl "The California Spotted Owl: A Technical Assessment of Its Current Status" (CASPO) in 1992 (Eliason and Loe 2011,2 LaHaye and Gutiérrez 2005, Verner et al. 1992c). In this chapter, we first summarize the areas of concern for southern California and central coastal California (hereafter we refer to this region as "southern California") portrayed in CASPO (Verner et al. 1992b). We then summarize new information gained since CASPO and revisit the status of threats to the owls. Finally, we provide some observations on the status of owls in southern California and potential management implications derived from new information.

    Since the CASPO report, most new information on spotted owls stems from work on the San Bernardino population, which is the largest owl population in southern California (see below). This information has been reported in scientific journals and symposia or as part of targeted monitoring in a few mountain ranges. Whereas lack of funding within the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has limited the acquisition of new information, the USFS has developed a California spotted owl strategy for southern California (see footnote 2; Loe and Beier 20043). The original strategy was motivated by the extensive fires in southern California during 2003. This region-specific strategy was developed as a response to CASPO (Verner et al. 1992b).

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    Gutiérrez, R.J.; Tempel, Douglas J.; Peery, M. Zachariah. 2017. The spotted owl in southern and central coastal California. In: Gutiérrez, R.J.; Manley, Patricia N.; Stine, Peter A., tech. eds. The California spotted owl: current state of knowledge. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-254. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 239-262. Chapter 8.


    California spotted owl, forest management, fire, conservation

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