Endangered species of the boreal forest?


Status: Endangered.

Main threats: Predators, power lines, fences, roads and vehicles, habitat fragmentation, pesticides that may be limiting grasshopper populations.

Numbers: No more than 750 to 1,000 breeding pairs on the Prairies: five to 10 nesting pairs in B.C. thanks only to reintroduction programs.

Range: Southern Alberta and Southern Saskatchewan. Burrowing owls leave Alberta between early September and mid October; migration routes and location of wintering grounds are not well known, but they probably spend the non breeding season at least as far south as northern Mexico.

Size: The burrowing owl weighs between 120 and 185 grams. Neither plumage nor size differs appreciably between the sexes.

Breeding habits: Both sexes are capable of breeding at 10 months of age.

Lifespan: It is not known how long they live in the wild. Many breeders in Saskatchewan were first year birds and only five per cent were known to be at least five years old. The oldest owl known in North America, based on banding returns, was eight.