Vertebrate Species

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

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 Groups

SDMMP_2019_648435 An Adaptive Management Approach to Recovering Burrowing Owl Populations and Restoring a Grassland Ecosystem in San Diego County

Project Focus
Project type: Monitoring
Target species: Western burrowing owl
Target vegetation: grassland
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 Protocol
Strategic Elements
Budget year: FY15-16
Work plan objectives number: 1.2
Project Location
County: Baja California, San Diego
General: South-central, South-west
MU: 3
Reports
Reports Available: Yes
File name Lead Author Year Type
An adaptive management approach to recovering burrowing owl populations and restoring a grassland ecosystem in San Diego County, Project Report 2011 San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research 2011 report
An adaptive management approach to recovering burrowing owl populations and restoring a grassland ecosystem in San Diego County, Project Report 2012 San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research 2012 report
An adaptive management approach to recovering burrowing owl populations and restoring a grassland ecosystem in San Diego County, Project Report 2013 San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research 2013 report
An adaptive management approach to recovering burrowing owl populations and restoring a grassland ecosystem in San Diego County, Project Report 2014 San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research 2014 report
An Adaptive Management Approach to Recovering Burrowing Owl Populations and Restoring a Grassland Ecosystem in San Diego County: A Proposal for Funding to the San Diego Foundation Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Shier, Debra M.; Nordstrom, Lisa A.; Endress, Bryan; San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research; Lieberman, Alan 2010 other
Burrowing Owl Habitat Conservation and Management Plan for San Diego County McCullough Hennessy, Sarah; Wisinski, Colleen; Shier, Debra M.; Nordstrom, Lisa A.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Montagne, J.P.; Marczak, Susanne 2017 report
Project Report 2015 An adaptive management approach to recovering burrowing owl populations and restoring a grassland ecosystem in San Diego County McCullough Hennessy, Sarah; Wisinski, Colleen; Montagne, J.P.; Shier, Debra M.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Nordstrom, Lisa A. 2015 report
Project Report 2016: An adaptive management approach to recovering burrowing owl populations and restoring a grassland ecosystem in San Diego County Wisinski, Colleen; Hennessy, Sarah; Montagne, J.P.; Marczak, Susanne; Stevens, Michael; Hargis, Jacob; Shier, Debra M.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Nordstrom, Lisa A. 2016 report
Project Data - Online Map