Course Graduates Protect Western Burrowing Owl

The Takeaway: Most participants in this Elkhorn Slough Research Reserve workshop later use skills to bolster species protection and habitat conditions.

Three years of surveys from California’s “Western Burrowing Owl” workshops show that 88 percent of respondents are using their skills to lessen species threats and improve habitat in restoration projects, Superfund sites, construction project surveys, habitat conservation plans, and other places. The Western Burrowing Owl has been designated a Species of Special Concern in the state.

Through classroom and in-the-field training, participants learn about the owls’ dependence on ground squirrels; breeding, burrowing, and wintering behavior; and ways that people can create artificial burrows and reduce threats from rodenticides and larger birds.

This is one of the most popular courses offered by the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, with the roster filling up every year and frequent waiting lists. It began in 2013 when the Coastal Training Program of Elkhorn Slough Reserve partnered with Lynne Trulio, Ph.D., of San Jose State University. (2017)

More Information: Elkhorn Slough Coastal Training Program

Partners: Elkhorn Slough Reserve, San Jose State University