Arizona Game and FIsh Department - Managing Today for Wildlife Tomorrow: azgfd.gov Arizona Game and Fish Department
  

Phone Number
BUY LICENSES | BIG GAME DRAW | eNEWS | CALENDAR | VIDEO | HUNTING | FISHING | WILDLIFE VIEWING | CONSERVATION | EDUCATION | BOATING | SHOOTING | OHV | SITE MAP | EMPLOYMENT
 
AZGFD Home
Online Services
Newsroom
Hunting & Fishing
Outdoor Recreation
Wildlife & Conservation
 
Living with Wildlife
Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy
Teaming With Wildlife
Conservation & Management
Heritage Fund Program
Research
Technical Reports
Landscaping for Desert Wildlife
Wildlife Related Diseases
Nongame Species
Arizona's Natural Heritage Program (HDMS)
Project Evaluation Program (PEP)
Economic Impact
Special Permits
Resources
Invasive Species Advisory Council
Information & Education
Inside AZGFD
Customer Service
 
Mitigation of Road Design for Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-owls
 
Background:
The need for more efficient transportation corridors within northwest Tucson and southern Pinal County necessitates consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) because most of the transportation corridors pass through critical habitat for the Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum). The influence of practices such as land development (commercial and residential), road construction and maintenance, recreation, and livestock grazing on habitat selection and habitat availability for this subspecies are poorly understood, as is much of its general life history. The conservation of biologically connected patches of landscapes systems is essential for the protection of a species. It is important that we identify current and potential barriers (e.g., roads) so that habitat links among local populations can be preserved. The purpose of this study is to provide the necessary information on how pygmy-owls use habitat associated with roadways.

Location:
Sonoran scrub and mesquite grassland deserts of southern Arizona.

Approach:
Game and Fish Research Biologists checking the status of a nesting Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-owl. A standardized survey protocol currently approved by the FWS is used to locate pygmy-owls during their breeding season (February - June). Pygmy-owl territories that have a wide variety of road types near their nest sites are chosen as study subjects. Adult and juvenile pygmy-owls nesting near roads are fitted with a backpack style, 1.85 g radio transmitter. Each bird is monitored to determine location, movements and behavior of the bird, with special attention paid to the distance flown between successive perches and the location where a bird flies across a road. The structure and composition of vegetation around perch structures used by pygmy-owls on either side of road is measured.

Benefits:
The lack of pertinent information regarding the impact road construction has on the viability of this federally endangered owl may lead to delays in construction due to the lack of information on potential mitigation. Studying how these owls use habitat near roadways (for example, habitat characteristics where pygmy-owls cross roads, how far will pygmy-owls cross open pavement, do pygmy-owls avoid roads with certain traffic volumes, etc.) will allow us to make credible management recommendations. The knowledge gathered from this study will provide information that will allow aid in designing road improvements that have minimal impact to pygmy-owls.

For more information contact:
Michael Ingraldi, Ph.D., Arizona Game and Fish Department, 5000 W. Carefree Highway Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000 .
Phone: (928) 523-5625 E-mail: mingraldi@cybertrails.com

Dennis Abbate, Arizona Game and Fish Department, 5000 W. Carefree Highway Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000 .
Phone: (520) 742-1911 E-mail: dabbate@gf.state.az.us


 
back to top
 
Related AZGFD Info
- Sport Fish Species
- Watchable Wildlife
- Sign up for AZGFD eNews

Mission | Frequently Asked Questions | Web Policy | Send Comments | Employment | Commission Agenda | Office Locations | Site Map | Search | © 2013 AZGFD