Protect Yosemite’s Great Gray Owls

Yosemite is the last sanctuary of California’s great gray owl, among the rarest and most threatened bird species in California. Past research, funded in part by Yosemite Conservancy, has revealed just how fragile the Yosemite great gray owl population is.

The Conservancy is providing funding for a project that incorporates a science-based conservation program to locate, protect and monitor owl nests using passive recording devices that allow researchers to “listen” for clues. Park scientists are also genetically analyzing molted feathers to determine survivorship rates and population changes. This combination of non-invasive techniques is key to protecting and managing Yosemite’s great gray owl population.

By taking a proactive, noninvasive approach, Yosemite National Park is building a conservation program to protect the majestic great gray owl for future generations.

Partnering with Yosemite National Park; U.S. Fish and Wildlife; University of California, Davis; U.S. Forest Service; and U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center.

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Project Notes

With fewer than 300 great gray owls in in the greater Yosemite area, the species is rare, mysterious and astonishing to behold. It is humbling to have the opportunity to protect this special bird in such an amazing place and gratifying to know we’re giving our great grandchildren the best chance for experiencing the magic of Yosemite’s great gray owls in their beautiful meadow homes.

Sarah Stock
Wildlife Biologist
National Park Service