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Mexican Spotted Owl

The Mexican spotted owl is the only federally listed Threatened species known to occupy the Flagstaff Area National Monuments. Nesting locations of breeding pairs are currently monitored by park staff through tracking of animals in critical canyon habitat. However, a different approach to providing individual bird identification may reduce these intrusive techniques. Genetic analysis of naturally molted feathers collected from owl roost sites provide a “DNA fingerprint” for each animal. In building a genetic database of owls found within the canyon, researchers can track owl population trends, new owl immigration, and breeding family trees. This pilot project could expand in future years to include feather analysis of golden eagles, peregrine falcons, and other raptor species of special conservation concern. For additional information please contact the Friends of the Flagstaff Monuments at friendsofthemonuments@msn.com.

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