Found in suburban and rural areas
Cavity nester but do not create the cavities
Lives in many parks in New York City
Willing to use nest boxes placed in parks
in Nest Box
Flickr Photo by Gilintx
Central Park Reintroduction
Native to Central Park for decades
Decrease in population from 1930s-1950s
New York City Urban Park Rangers worked to
reintroduce the owl into the park
1998- NYCUPR released 6 owls into Central Park
-the owls were not equipped with monitoring devices
2001 & 2002- NYCUPR released 32 owls into Central
- 30 of the owls were equipped with radio transmitters
New York City
Flickr Photo by Jimbowen0306
Central Park Reintroduction
Released owls were found to have 23% survival rate
Suggests that about 77% of owls died or left the area
Owl deaths due to lack of food, predation, impact with
objects, or rodenticide poison
2003- None of the 7 owls released in 1998 were found
7 owls from the 2001-2 release remained in the park
Tracking the Owls
Owls were banded and equipped with radio
One month after 2001 release, 12 of 17 birds
equipped with radio backpacks had been separated
By 2003 all transmitter batteries had died
Central Park bird watchers contacted researchers
Call surveys using owl calls
Collecting owl pellets to locate
Map Created By Liz
Yaslik using Google
Problems with Reintroduction
Most of the owls had slipped out of transmitter packs
Batteries of packs died
A decrease in bird watchers could lead to a decrease
in bird sightings, not necessarily a decrease in owls
Possible Causes of Owl Decrease
Lack of males or females, slowing reproduction rates
Poor weather conditions
Increase in owl predators
Collision of owls with other structures
Habitat or cavity destruction/competitors
Fewer bird watchers
Flickr Photo by rbs10025
Importance of Reintroduction
Maintain biodiversity in New York City
Necessary for park ecosystem
Create breeding pairs
Relatively difficult to track the owls
Radio transmitters are not reliable
Most owls left Central Park area, the owls may know
which areas are best
Since 77% of reintroduction population left the
area, discontinue reintroduction
Research why owls choose other areas
Keep track of number of males and females
Check availability of owl habitats, add more nest
boxes if necessary
Track the owls’ available food sources and
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