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Mexican Spotted Owl
Recovery Plan

Click HERE to go to the Recovery Plan downloads page.

The Mexican spotted owl was listed as a threatened species on 15 April 1993. Two primary reasons were cited for the listing: historical alteration of its habitat as the result of timber management practices, specifically the use of even-aged silviculture, plus the threat of these practices continuing, as provided in National Forest Plans.

The danger of catastrophic wildfire was also cited as a potential threat for additional habitat loss. Concomitant with the listing of the Mexican spotted owl, a Recovery Team was appointed by FWS Southwestern Regional Director John Rogers to develop a Recovery Plan.

The Recovery Plan provides a basis for management actions to be undertaken by land-management agencies and Indian Tribes to remove recognized threats and recover the spotted owl. Primary actions will be taken by the USDA Forest Service, USDI Bureau of Land Management, USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, USDI Bureau of Indian Affairs, and sovereign American Indian Tribes. The Fish and Wildlife Service will oversee implementation of the Recovery Plan through its authorities under the Endangered Species Act.

The Team made every effort to identify and consider all sources of information in developing this plan. Previous plans developed for the northern spotted owl (Thomas et al. 1990, Bart et al. 1992) and the California spotted owl (Verner et al. 1992) were considered in the development of Recovery Plan. The Team analyzed data that had not been evaluated previously and re-analyzed data when appropriate to ensure that information was consistent or to address questions not considered in previous analyses of those data.

The purpose of the Recovery Plan is to outline the steps necessary to remove the Mexican spotted owl from the list of threatened species.

The Recovery Plan contains five basic elements:

1. A recovery goal and a set of delisting criteria that, when met, will allow the Mexican spotted owl to be removed from the list of threatened species.
2. Provision of three general strategies for management that provide varying levels of habitat protection depending on the owl’s needs and habitat use.
3. Recommendations for population and habitat monitoring.
4. A research program to address critical information needs to better understand the biology of the Mexican spotted owl and the effects of anthropogenic activities on the owl and its habitat.
5. Implementation procedures that specify oversight and coordination responsibilities.

The Plan (2.2Mb PDF, 347 pages), in its entirety is available by clicking here.

After reviewing the plan, if you would like to submit an information request outlining your concerns about the plan, you may download a form (156kb PDF, 8 pages) that will assist you.

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Biology Recovery
Last updated: April 25, 2016