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Spotted Owl Habitat
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
To implement the conservation plan for the Northern spotted owl, wildlife and land managers need to locate the birds. Mapping their habitat would be prohibitively expensive over the 25-million acres of affected land if carried out by the traditional means of ground-based surveys. Instead, scientists at the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management are using satellites – Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 – to determine where spotted owls are likely to nest. Dark green areas in this 1996 Landsat image correspond to heavily forested areas with large conifers – potential owl habitat.