Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

USGS Finds Mixing Between California Spotted Owls And Northern Spotted Owls

Date:
June 27, 2001
Source:
United States Geological Survey
Summary:
A newly released United States Geological Survey paper indicates that a significant zone of genetic mixing is occurring between northern spotted owls and California spotted owls, particularly in extreme northern California and southern Oregon.

A newly released United States Geological Survey paper indicates that a significant zone of genetic mixing is occurring between northern spotted owls and California spotted owls, particularly in extreme northern California and southern Oregon.

The findings, published in the June edition of the journal Conservation Genetics, suggest there is relatively little genetic diversity within the overall species relative to other bird species and that the genetic diversity within local populations may suffer from further population fragmentation.

“In the study, we used molecular markers to look at the population structure within and among populations of all three subspecies of the spotted owl,” said Susan Haig, a conservation genetics specialist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center in Corvallis, Ore. “Our results suggest that California spotted owls, which are not listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, appear to be dispersing into what researchers have considered the southern range of northern spotted owls, which are listed under ESA as threatened.”

Haig co-authored the paper, "Geographic Variation and Genetic Structure in Spotted Owls" with Thomas D. Mullins and R. Steven Wagner, also of the USGS science center in Corvallis, Ore.; and Eric D. Forsman, with the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Forest Experiment Station in Corvallis.

Spotted owls are mostly non-migratory, long-lived, socially monogamous birds whose populations have become less viable because of their occupation of late successional forests in western North America. The three subspecies studied include the California, northern, and Mexican spotted owls. Northern and Mexican spotted owls are listed as Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and California spotted owls are not.

Haig says this study indicates that northern spotted owls are not found in the range of California spotted owls, but that California spotted owls are found in northern spotted owl habitat. The California owls have been found at least as far north as Central Oregon in the Cascades and the Coast ranges. The mixing extends to Humboldt County in extreme northern California. The team did not find evidence for genetic mixing between either California or northern spotted owl subspecies and the Mexican spotted owl subspecies.

“These data, along with other information, such as population estimates and assessment of habitat fragmentation, can be used to assess the status and recovery efforts for spotted owls,” she says. Haig and her colleagues are now completing additional analyses of genetic differences among the three subspecies.

The USGS serves the nation by providing impartial scientific information to describe and understand the Earth, its resources and processes; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by United States Geological Survey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

United States Geological Survey. "USGS Finds Mixing Between California Spotted Owls And Northern Spotted Owls." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010611071252.htm>.
United States Geological Survey. (2001, June 27). USGS Finds Mixing Between California Spotted Owls And Northern Spotted Owls. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010611071252.htm
United States Geological Survey. "USGS Finds Mixing Between California Spotted Owls And Northern Spotted Owls." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010611071252.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins