Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
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Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-owl Nest Box Project, Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, Arizona
Southwest Region, December 3, 2006
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The Arizona Ecological Services Office (AESO), with help from Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) staff and volunteers, Glenn Proudfoot (pygmy-owl researcher with Texas A&M University), the Univeristy of Arizona student chapter of The Wildlife Society (TWS), and the Phoenix Zoo, placed over 60 nest boxes designed for pygmy-owl use on the BANWR on December 1 and 2, 2006.  The project is one component of a pygmy-owl augmentation plan recently developed by the FWS and Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) and was made possible by funding received from the AGFD's Arizona Bird Conservation Intiative grant program.  The objective of the project is to test the feasibility of using nest boxes as a management tool for pymgy-owls on the BANWR and Altar Valley through increasing nest site availability.  Historically, before the landscape was modified for cattle grazing purposes, saguaros, and consequently pymgy-owl nest sites, were likely more abundant in the area.  Ten TWS students spent the weekend on the BANWR and participated in constructing the pole mounts and in placing the nest boxes on the Refuge.  The nest boxes will be monitored by AESO, BANWR staff and volunteers, AGFD, and TWS students starting in spring 2007.  The TWS students may also design additional research projects as part of their schooling using these nest boxes.  Additionally, Mexican biologists with Pronatura and other NGOs will visit the project, which, if successful on the BANWR, will likely be expanded into northern Sonora.  BANWR staff and resources have been instrumental in the implementation of this project. 

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov
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