Northern Spotted Owl

Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management


  • Species Common Name Northern Spotted Owl
  • Species Scientific Name Strix occidentalis caurina
  • Federal Listing Status Threatened
  • State Listing Status Threatened


    Special needs

    Northern Spotted Owls require large areas of late-successional forest for breeding and dispersal.

    Limiting factors

    Northern Spotted Owls have large home range requirements. They are adversely affected by reductions in late-successional forest. Habitat loss due to uncharacteristically severe fire is of particular concern in the Klamath Mountains ecoregion. Hybridization and competition with Barred Owls (Strix varia) represent emerging threats. Northern Spotted Owls are also sensitive to West Nile Virus.

    Conservation actions

    Conservation actions are largely being pursued on federal lands in Washington, Oregon, and California through the Northwest Forest Plan, federal recovery plan (see below), Oregon Forest Practices Act on state and private lands, and several habitat conservation plans on private lands.

    Key reference or plan

    Revised Recovery Plan for the Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina)