California spotted owls benefit from forest restoration

by Lisa Bryant, USDA Forest Service – Rocky Mountain Research Station
December 16, 2021

This finding is showcased in “Forest restoration limits megafires and supports species conservation under climate change,” a new research publication released this week in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.  Lead author Gavin Jones, Ph.D., a research ecologist with the USDA Forest Service (USFS) Rocky Mountain Research Station, said the research shows that forest restoration and the preservation of the spotted owl are not mutually exclusive, as had previously been feared.

“We’ve shown that restoration provides co-benefits to owls by reducing their exposure to stand-replacing wildfire, which leads to loss of nesting habitat,” Jones said.

The research team also included collaborators from the USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station, USFS Region 5, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and University of California-Merced. 

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Read the Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment paper: