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Habitat Pattern around Northern Spotted Owl Locations on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington

John F. Lehmkuhl and Martin G. Raphael
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 57, No. 2 (Apr., 1993), pp. 302-315
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3809427
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3809427
Page Count: 14
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Habitat Pattern around Northern Spotted Owl Locations on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington
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Abstract

We compared owl habitat pattern around northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) locations with owl habitat pattern around random locations and in owl home ranges to assess the impact of habitat fragmentation on owl habitat selection and reproductive performance. Owls were located at 78 sites, and their reproductive status determined by standard call-survey protocol on the Olympic National Forest (ONF), Washington. Owl locations and 100 random locations were mapped across the ONF on owl habitat maps. Habitat pattern attributes were measured in concentric circles of 813; 3,253; and 7,320 ha around each owl and random location. Owl habitat pattern in 6 home ranges of owl pairs also was measured. Values of most pattern attributes in random circles differed (P < 0.05) with circle size, or measurement scale. Owl habitat area was greater and some attributes of fragmentation lower in circular areas around owl locations than around random circles (P ≤ 0.05). Pattern did not differ in areas around single versus paired owls. Owl habitat pattern in home ranges was comparable to that in paired 3,253-ha owl circles. Principal components analysis of habitat pattern in 3,253-ha areas around owl locations showed that owl habitat area and variation in patch sizes accounted for 52% of the variation in habitat pattern. We suggest the percentage of area in owl habitat, an isolation index, and the CV of patch area are useful measures of owl habitat pattern in spotted owl home ranges. Our results support the use of circular areas on the order of 3,200 ha for assessment of northern spotted owl habitat on the Olympic Peninsula.

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