Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida). (Photo credit: National Park Service)
Forest ecosystems represent an important and valuable resource in the southwestern United States. Such forests support timber production, recreation industries, and ranching while also being managed for a wide array of ecosystem services. The unique habitats and ecosystems found in southwestern forests serve as home for many wildlife species, including several threatened and endangered species.
In collaboration with Erika Nowak Herpetological Consulting, EnviroPlan Partners was contracted to conduct wildlife surveys for Tonto National Forest in Arizona. Such surveys are required to regularly monitor the health and status of species currently listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species. These included avian species such as the Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) and the southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus). To assist with this monitoring effort, EnviroPlan assisted with field work by recording data during reconnaissance trips, developing electronic data collection protocols, and organizing field data. Team members also assisted with geospatial data analysis and preparation of the final field reports for the U.S. Forest Service.