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RE: [CALBIRDS] Yosemite Great Gray Owl - a new race

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  • Geoffrey Rogers
    Dan wrote: Another great California bird, I believe, is headed for peril. Indeed, it s already listed as state endangered. Subspecific designation should
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 14 8:38 AM
      Dan wrote: "Another great California bird, I believe, is headed for peril."

      Indeed, it's already listed as state endangered. Subspecific designation
      should generate additional protection.

      Geoff Rogers
      San Diego, CA
      oreortyx@...


      > [Original Message]
      > From: Dan Lockshaw <dan100@...>
      > To: CalBirds <CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com>
      > Date: 10/13/2010 11:07:35 PM
      > Subject: [CALBIRDS] Yosemite Great Gray Owl - a new race
      >
      > This is a bit of a delayed posting but two of us from Optics4Birding made
      a short visit to Yosemite National Park to look for owls on Sept. 27th and
      28 th. Our main target species were Great Gray, Spotted and Northern Pygmy
      Owls. The visit was very short, and with long delays in the park for
      post-summer road construction, most of our time was spent looking for Great
      Gray Owl.
      >
      > The September/October period is a particularly good time to find Northern
      Pygmy Owls because of post fledging vocalizations. Only on one of the
      mornings did we even get out to look for pygmy owls. I posted a photo on
      the Optics4Birding blog.
      >
      > The Spotted Owl sighting provided our most surprising owl behavior. On
      Wednesday night while driving along Hwy 120, we pulled up alongside a
      Spotted Owl sitting atop a snow pole on the side of the road. The habitat
      along both sides was generally correct but it was odd to find a Spotted Owl
      actually hunting along the highway. I don't recall ever having seen this
      behavior before from Spotted Owl although I do remember, several years ago,
      seeing Spotted Owls very close to the highway on Mosquito Ridge Road in
      Placer County.
      >
      > Great Gray Owl is one of the most sought after birds in the Sierra
      Nevada. It is the rarest resident species in Yosemite National Park and
      this is the only area to find one in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Recent
      genetic analysis of Yosemite area Great Grays has shown them to be a unique
      subspecies: Strix nebulosa yosemitensis, according to lead researchers John
      J. Keane and Holly B. Ernest. There are only two other Great Gray Owl races
      recognized in the world (the North American race and the Eurasian race).
      For more details about this and photos, please see the Optics4Birding blog.
      >
      > We had very close encounters with Great Gray Owls on this trip. My
      comments here are more about the places we didn't see Great Grays where I
      expect to find them in the National Forest outside the park. It really
      disturbs me to go look for Great Grays and instead find COWS! Livestock
      grazing thins meadow vegetation which favors Great Horned Owls. Even worse
      in my mind are cow bells! I asked land owners about why they put cow bells
      on their livestock in fenced meadows and they claim it "helps them to find
      the animals if they break through fences". I understand the needs of land
      owners to make a living but in the case of such a small population of a
      unique subspecies of bird, in a National Forest, I have to question these
      management decisions. In an otherwise quiet night, it is really painful to
      me to go into prime habitat of the National Forest valley ringing with cow
      bells. No self respecting owl of any species could tolerate this kind of
      noise and I suspect all of nature is negatively affected.
      >
      > Our trip into the Yosemite area was very brief. Road construction lights,
      noise and cow bells drove our searches deeper into the forests. Although we
      did find the owls we went to find, other bird seekers will continue to be
      more challenged. The genetic analyses of our Sierra Nevada Great Gray Owls
      shows they have not interbred with the North American nominate species for
      an estimated 26,700 years. Another great California bird, I believe, is
      headed for peril.
      >
      > Dan Lockshaw
      > http://optics4birding.com
      > Irvine, CA
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
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    • Lammergeiereyes@aol.com
      Confirmation in the literature of the species as a bonafide ssp., I suspect will eventually result in federal listing if FWS is petitioned. While it might not
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 14 8:49 AM
        Confirmation in the literature of the species as a bonafide ssp., I suspect will eventually result in federal listing if FWS is petitioned. While it might not have a significant impact on Yosemite parklands management, it would have important consequences for national forestlands management including those outside the park which Dan describes below.


        Sounds like a fun couple of days.


        Blake T. Matheson
        President, Monterey Audubon Society

        "Men still live who, in their youth, remember Passenger Pigeons. Trees still live who, in their youth, were shaken by a living wind. But a decade hence only the oldest oaks will remember, and at long last only the hills will know." Leopold (1949).



        -----Original Message-----
        From: Geoffrey Rogers <oreortyx@...>
        To: Dan Lockshaw <dan100@...>; CALBIRDS <CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thu, Oct 14, 2010 8:38 am
        Subject: RE: [CALBIRDS] Yosemite Great Gray Owl - a new race





        Dan wrote: "Another great California bird, I believe, is headed for peril."

        Indeed, it's already listed as state endangered. Subspecific designation
        should generate additional protection.

        Geoff Rogers
        San Diego, CA
        oreortyx@...

        > [Original Message]
        > From: Dan Lockshaw <dan100@...>
        > To: CalBirds <CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com>
        > Date: 10/13/2010 11:07:35 PM
        > Subject: [CALBIRDS] Yosemite Great Gray Owl - a new race
        >
        > This is a bit of a delayed posting but two of us from Optics4Birding made
        a short visit to Yosemite National Park to look for owls on Sept. 27th and
        28 th. Our main target species were Great Gray, Spotted and Northern Pygmy
        Owls. The visit was very short, and with long delays in the park for
        post-summer road construction, most of our time was spent looking for Great
        Gray Owl.
        >
        > The September/October period is a particularly good time to find Northern
        Pygmy Owls because of post fledging vocalizations. Only on one of the
        mornings did we even get out to look for pygmy owls. I posted a photo on
        the Optics4Birding blog.
        >
        > The Spotted Owl sighting provided our most surprising owl behavior. On
        Wednesday night while driving along Hwy 120, we pulled up alongside a
        Spotted Owl sitting atop a snow pole on the side of the road. The habitat
        along both sides was generally correct but it was odd to find a Spotted Owl
        actually hunting along the highway. I don't recall ever having seen this
        behavior before from Spotted Owl although I do remember, several years ago,
        seeing Spotted Owls very close to the highway on Mosquito Ridge Road in
        Placer County.
        >
        > Great Gray Owl is one of the most sought after birds in the Sierra
        Nevada. It is the rarest resident species in Yosemite National Park and
        this is the only area to find one in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Recent
        genetic analysis of Yosemite area Great Grays has shown them to be a unique
        subspecies: Strix nebulosa yosemitensis, according to lead researchers John
        J. Keane and Holly B. Ernest. There are only two other Great Gray Owl races
        recognized in the world (the North American race and the Eurasian race).
        For more details about this and photos, please see the Optics4Birding blog.
        >
        > We had very close encounters with Great Gray Owls on this trip. My
        comments here are more about the places we didn't see Great Grays where I
        expect to find them in the National Forest outside the park. It really
        disturbs me to go look for Great Grays and instead find COWS! Livestock
        grazing thins meadow vegetation which favors Great Horned Owls. Even worse
        in my mind are cow bells! I asked land owners about why they put cow bells
        on their livestock in fenced meadows and they claim it "helps them to find
        the animals if they break through fences". I understand the needs of land
        owners to make a living but in the case of such a small population of a
        unique subspecies of bird, in a National Forest, I have to question these
        management decisions. In an otherwise quiet night, it is really painful to
        me to go into prime habitat of the National Forest valley ringing with cow
        bells. No self respecting owl of any species could tolerate this kind of
        noise and I suspect all of nature is negatively affected.
        >
        > Our trip into the Yosemite area was very brief. Road construction lights,
        noise and cow bells drove our searches deeper into the forests. Although we
        did find the owls we went to find, other bird seekers will continue to be
        more challenged. The genetic analyses of our Sierra Nevada Great Gray Owls
        shows they have not interbred with the North American nominate species for
        an estimated 26,700 years. Another great California bird, I believe, is
        headed for peril.
        >
        > Dan Lockshaw
        > http://optics4birding.com
        > Irvine, CA
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
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        > Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CALBIRDS
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        >
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        Membership and set your mail option to No Email. Or, send a blank email to
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        >
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        >
        >
        >







        =


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Joseph Morlan
        All, Not to be a wet blanket, but acceptance of this claimed new subspecies is far from assured. The authors managed to claim a new subspecies without
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 18 7:19 PM
          All,

          Not to be a wet blanket, but acceptance of this claimed new subspecies is
          far from assured. The authors managed to claim a new subspecies without
          designating a type specimen or specimens. This is required for any new
          subspecies.

          Furthermore the description of the new subspecies and its diagnosis is
          based entirely on blood genetics. Differences in genetics, detectable only
          by blood samples are not the usual way of diagnosing subspecies. Valid
          subspecies must be diagnosable taxonomically which means that the
          differences must be visible in museum specimens via normal examination and
          or measurements.

          Those interested may be interested in checking out the ICZN site:

          http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted-sites/iczn/code/

          However, it is not necessary for a subspecies to be valid, for any
          population to be considered endangered or threatened in law. All that is
          needed for that is for the population to be defined in law.

          On Thu, 14 Oct 2010 11:49:08 -0400, Lammergeiereyes@... wrote:

          >Confirmation in the literature of the species as a bonafide ssp., I suspect will eventually result in federal listing if FWS is petitioned. While it might not have a significant impact on Yosemite parklands management, it would have important consequences for national forestlands management including those outside the park which Dan describes below.
          >
          >
          >Sounds like a fun couple of days.
          >
          >
          >Blake T. Matheson
          >President, Monterey Audubon Society
          >
          >"Men still live who, in their youth, remember Passenger Pigeons. Trees still live who, in their youth, were shaken by a living wind. But a decade hence only the oldest oaks will remember, and at long last only the hills will know." Leopold (1949).
          >
          >
          >
          >-----Original Message-----
          >From: Geoffrey Rogers <oreortyx@...>
          >To: Dan Lockshaw <dan100@...>; CALBIRDS <CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com>
          >Sent: Thu, Oct 14, 2010 8:38 am
          >Subject: RE: [CALBIRDS] Yosemite Great Gray Owl - a new race
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >Dan wrote: "Another great California bird, I believe, is headed for peril."
          >
          >Indeed, it's already listed as state endangered. Subspecific designation
          >should generate additional protection.
          >
          >Geoff Rogers
          >San Diego, CA
          >oreortyx@...
          >
          >> [Original Message]
          >> From: Dan Lockshaw <dan100@...>
          >> To: CalBirds <CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com>
          >> Date: 10/13/2010 11:07:35 PM
          >> Subject: [CALBIRDS] Yosemite Great Gray Owl - a new race
          >>
          >> This is a bit of a delayed posting but two of us from Optics4Birding made
          >a short visit to Yosemite National Park to look for owls on Sept. 27th and
          >28 th. Our main target species were Great Gray, Spotted and Northern Pygmy
          >Owls. The visit was very short, and with long delays in the park for
          >post-summer road construction, most of our time was spent looking for Great
          >Gray Owl.
          >>
          >> The September/October period is a particularly good time to find Northern
          >Pygmy Owls because of post fledging vocalizations. Only on one of the
          >mornings did we even get out to look for pygmy owls. I posted a photo on
          >the Optics4Birding blog.
          >>
          >> The Spotted Owl sighting provided our most surprising owl behavior. On
          >Wednesday night while driving along Hwy 120, we pulled up alongside a
          >Spotted Owl sitting atop a snow pole on the side of the road. The habitat
          >along both sides was generally correct but it was odd to find a Spotted Owl
          >actually hunting along the highway. I don't recall ever having seen this
          >behavior before from Spotted Owl although I do remember, several years ago,
          >seeing Spotted Owls very close to the highway on Mosquito Ridge Road in
          >Placer County.
          >>
          >> Great Gray Owl is one of the most sought after birds in the Sierra
          >Nevada. It is the rarest resident species in Yosemite National Park and
          >this is the only area to find one in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Recent
          >genetic analysis of Yosemite area Great Grays has shown them to be a unique
          >subspecies: Strix nebulosa yosemitensis, according to lead researchers John
          >J. Keane and Holly B. Ernest. There are only two other Great Gray Owl races
          >recognized in the world (the North American race and the Eurasian race).
          >For more details about this and photos, please see the Optics4Birding blog.
          >>
          >> We had very close encounters with Great Gray Owls on this trip. My
          >comments here are more about the places we didn't see Great Grays where I
          >expect to find them in the National Forest outside the park. It really
          >disturbs me to go look for Great Grays and instead find COWS! Livestock
          >grazing thins meadow vegetation which favors Great Horned Owls. Even worse
          >in my mind are cow bells! I asked land owners about why they put cow bells
          >on their livestock in fenced meadows and they claim it "helps them to find
          >the animals if they break through fences". I understand the needs of land
          >owners to make a living but in the case of such a small population of a
          >unique subspecies of bird, in a National Forest, I have to question these
          >management decisions. In an otherwise quiet night, it is really painful to
          >me to go into prime habitat of the National Forest valley ringing with cow
          >bells. No self respecting owl of any species could tolerate this kind of
          >noise and I suspect all of nature is negatively affected.
          >>
          >> Our trip into the Yosemite area was very brief. Road construction lights,
          >noise and cow bells drove our searches deeper into the forests. Although we
          >did find the owls we went to find, other bird seekers will continue to be
          >more challenged. The genetic analyses of our Sierra Nevada Great Gray Owls
          >shows they have not interbred with the North American nominate species for
          >an estimated 26,700 years. Another great California bird, I believe, is
          >headed for peril.
          >>
          >> Dan Lockshaw
          >> http://optics4birding.com
          >> Irvine, CA
          >>
          >>
          >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >> ------------------------------------
          >>
          >> Unsubscribe: mailto:CALBIRDS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >> Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CALBIRDS
          >> Listowners: mailto:CALBIRDS-owner@yahoogroups.com
          >>
          >> For vacation suspension of mail go to the website. Click on Edit My
          >Membership and set your mail option to No Email. Or, send a blank email to
          >these addresses:
          >> Turn off email delivery: mailto:CALBIRDS-nomail@yahoogroups.com
          >> Resume email delivery: mailto:CALBIRDS-normal@yahoogroups.com
          >>
          >> Yahoo! Groups Links
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >=
          >
          >
          >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          --
          Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA jmorlan (at) ccsf.edu
          SF Birding Classes start Nov 2 http://fog.ccsf.edu/jmorlan/
          California Bird Records Committee http://www.californiabirds.org/
          Western Field Ornithologists http://www.westernfieldornithologists.org/
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