Review of the effects of barred owls on spotted owls

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College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Barred owls (Strix varia) are forest‐dwelling owls, native to eastern North America, with populations that expanded westward into the range of the spotted owl (Strix occidentalis). Barred owls exert an overwhelmingly negative influence on spotted owls, thereby threatening spotted owl population viability where the species co‐occur. In this review, we provide an overview of the barred owl's range expansion and detail and synthesize previously published literature on spotted and barred owls within the range of the spotted owl as related to potential future outcomes for the northern spotted owl (S. o. caurina). We include research on diet, habitat use and selection, effects of barred owls on spotted owl demography and behavior, hybridization with spotted owls, parasites, contemporary management, and future research needs for spotted owl populations given continued barred owl expansion throughout western North America. Our literature review and synthesis should provide managers with the information necessary to develop strategies that mitigate deleterious effects of barred owls at local and landscape scales.

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© 2019 The Wildlife Society. Publisher’s version of record:

Publication Title

The Journal of Wildlife Management