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Invader removal triggers competitive release in a threatened avian predator

August 3, 2021

Invasive species can cause extinctions of native species and widespread biodiversity loss. Invader removal is a common management response, but the use of long-term field experiments to characterize effectiveness of removals in benefitting impacted native species is rare. We used a large-scale removal experiment to investigate the demographic response of a threatened native species, the northern spotted owl, to removal of an invasive competitor species, the barred owl. Removal of barred owls had a strong, positive effect on survival of spotted owls, which arrested long-term population declines of spotted owls. The results demonstrate that the long-term persistence of spotted owls will depend heavily on reducing the negative impacts of barred owls while simultaneously addressing other threats, such as habitat loss.

Publication Year 2021
Title Invader removal triggers competitive release in a threatened avian predator
DOI 10.1073/pnas.2102859118
Authors David Wiens, Katie Dugger, J. Mark Higley, Damon B. Lesmeister, Alan B. Franklin, Keith A. Hamm, Gary C. White, Krista E. Dilione, David C. Simon, Robin R. Bown, Peter C. Carlson, Charles Yackulic, James D. Nichols, James E. Hines, Raymond J. Davis, David W. Lamphear, Christopher McCafferty, Trent L. McDonald, Stan G. Sovern
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)
Index ID 70223164
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center; Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Southwest Biological Science Center