San Diego Management & Monitoring Program


Vertebrate Species
An Adaptive Management Approach to Recovering Burrowing Owl Populations and Restoring a Grassland Ecosystem in San Diego County


Project description

San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research (ICR), in partnership with multiple agencies, has developed an adaptive conservation management program to assist in the recovery of Western Burrowing Owls (BUOW; Athene cunicularia hypugaea) and their grassland ecosystem in San Diego County. Main objectives include (1) establishing more natural grassland ecosystems in San Diego County by re-establishing ground squirrels that provide critical resources for BUOW and valuable ecosystem engineering effects; (2) better understanding of the factors regulating BUOW population dynamics; (3) developing a comprehensive strategic management plan for BUOW in San Diego County; and (4) implementing the strategic management plan to begin establishing additional breeding nodes of burrowing owls. In 2017 ICR partnered with SDMMP to make publicly available a BUOW Conservation and Management Plan for San Diego County. This is a living document developed with input from local, state, and federal wildlife agencies, and will continue to be updated in the future.


Project protocol

Name: No protocol available at this time


Project location

County: Baja California, San Diego

General: South-central, South-west

MU: 3


Project map URL

http://arcg.is/0n8Pz9


Project spatial boundary

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Project focus

Project type: Monitoring

Target species: Western burrowing owl

Target vegetation: grassland


Implementing entities

Investigator: Lisa A. Nordstrom; Ronald R. Swaisgood

Main implementing entity: San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research

Point of contact: Lisa A. Nordstrom

SDMMP lead: Yvonne Moore

Study lead: Lisa A. Nordstrom


Project funding agreements

Funding participants
Role Participants

Strategic elements

Budget year: FY15-16 Work plan objectives number: 1.2


Files and documents


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