Event Title

Conceptual Life History Model for the Western Burrowing Owl

Session Number

Project ID: BIO 01

Advisor(s)

Dr. Yuki Hamada, Argonne National Laboratory

Discipline

Biology

Start Date

20-4-2022 10:25 AM

End Date

20-4-2022 10:40 AM

Abstract

The Burrowing Owl of California has been noted as a species of concern regarding the development of solar energy facilities in their habitat. Successful conservation planning requires a deep understanding of the species’ population dynamics. This knowledge is scattered throughout studies and a singular model regarding the owl’s life history does not exist. Thus, we developed a conceptual life history model of the Western Burrowing Owl shaped by the species’s life decisions based on age and sex. The population dynamics are decided by seasonal instincts concerning mating season as well as nest succession. The adult male and female model is mirrored and they both follow a general cycle of a mating/nesting season followed by a non-migration period. Our model closely matched with observed patterns of the western burrowing owl, including reproduction, mate fidelity, dispersion factors, life expectancy, and population size. The consequent purpose of this model is to explore decisions made by the various life stages of the western burrowing owl and to predict responses to solar energy development. The model can be used to inform solar energy industry makers and regulatory agencies on how to build future solar power facilities while conserving the western burrowing owl population.

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Apr 20th, 10:25 AM Apr 20th, 10:40 AM

Conceptual Life History Model for the Western Burrowing Owl

The Burrowing Owl of California has been noted as a species of concern regarding the development of solar energy facilities in their habitat. Successful conservation planning requires a deep understanding of the species’ population dynamics. This knowledge is scattered throughout studies and a singular model regarding the owl’s life history does not exist. Thus, we developed a conceptual life history model of the Western Burrowing Owl shaped by the species’s life decisions based on age and sex. The population dynamics are decided by seasonal instincts concerning mating season as well as nest succession. The adult male and female model is mirrored and they both follow a general cycle of a mating/nesting season followed by a non-migration period. Our model closely matched with observed patterns of the western burrowing owl, including reproduction, mate fidelity, dispersion factors, life expectancy, and population size. The consequent purpose of this model is to explore decisions made by the various life stages of the western burrowing owl and to predict responses to solar energy development. The model can be used to inform solar energy industry makers and regulatory agencies on how to build future solar power facilities while conserving the western burrowing owl population.