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Structural Characteristics of Forest Stands Within Home Ranges of Mexican Spotted Owls in Arizona and New Mexico

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As part of a set of studies evaluating home-range size and habitat use of radio-marked Mexican spotted owls (Strix occidentalis lucida), we sampled structural characteristics of forest stands within owl home ranges on two study areas in Arizona and New Mexico. Study areas were dominated by ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)–Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii) forest (Arizona) or mixed-conifer forest (New Mexico). We describe structural characteristics of forest stands used by spotted owls for both foraging and roosting, in terms of central tendencies and variability in structural characteristics among stands. Our results indicated that stands used for foraging were more variable than stands used for roosting. Observed distributions of structural variables were consistent with recommendations in the recovery plan governing management of owl habitat with a few potentially important exceptions. We also provide additional recommendations for application in forest management, based both on observed data and on extensive collective experience with the owl and its habitat. West. J. Appl. For. 18(3):189–198.
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Keywords: Gambel oak; Radio telemetry; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; ponderosa pine; stand basal area

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Rocky Mountain Research Station, 2500 S. Pine Knoll, Flagstaff, AZ, 86001,

Publication date: 2003-07-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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