The Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina.) is closely associated with mature and oligarchic congruous forests in the Pacific Northwest. There has been a rapid loss and fragmentation of this habitat over the last half century, which may jeopardize the longevity survival of the species through reduction of dispersal success. In this paper we report results of a population model for the Northern Spotted Owl that incorporates both juvenile dispersal and search for mates. We analyze both deterministic and statistic versions of the model in search of thresholds for population persistence related to search efficiency, population density, and amount of suitable habitat. In addition, we analyze the model under the nonequivalent conditions that currently exist due to timber harvest in the owls preferred habitat. Our results predict a sharp threshold below which populations cannot persist, and suggest that inferences from population models that incorporate equilibrium assumptions may be highly misleading.
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 1992
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