The Short-eared Owl has undergone a steep, long-term, and range-wide decline tantamount to a 71% reduction in population size since 1966.  From 1999-2009, the decline in the US accelerated to -7% annually.  Because of this, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the US Fish and Wildlife Service jointly deployed 26 satellite transmiters on Short-eared Owls in western and central Alaska in 2009 (shown in red) and 2010 (shown in blue) to document the non-breeding movements of Short-eared Owls from Alaska and identify important non-breeding habitats and locations. 

            Numerically speaking, it appears more owls spend time in Alberta and Montana during the non-breeding seasons than any other state or province.  Therefore, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is interested in parntering with organizations in Montana, Alberta, and elsewhere to: 1) better understand how wintering habitats in these areas have changed concurrent with the species’ decline and 2) apply this information to support on-the-ground efforts to conserve grasslands for this and other grassland-dependant species in Montana and Alberta.

            Please contact Travis Booms (travis.booms@alaska.gov) if interested in learning more about this study or exploring future collaborations and partnerships in Montana or Alberta to conserve Short-eared Owls and the grasslands they depend upon.