Scientific Name: Otus flammeolus
Taxonomy Group: Birds
Range: British Columbia
Last COSEWIC Assessment: April 2010
Last COSEWIC Designation: Special Concern
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Special Concern
Image of Flammulated Owl
This is a small owl with short ear tufts. It looks like a Western Screech-Owl, but has dark instead of yellow eyes. The Flammulated Owl has grey and red colour phases, which may be an adaptation to blend in with the bark colour of the dominant tree species. The reddish phase is commonest in the south part of the owl's range (where Ponderosa pine predominates) and the greyish phase, heavily streaked with brown, is more common in the north (where Douglas-fir predominates).
Distribution and Population
The Flammulated Owl breeds in the montane forests of western North America, from the interior plateau of south central British Columbia to the highlands of Mexico and Guatemala. It winters from southern Mexico to Central America. Nesting in Canada has been confirmed as far north as Skull Mountain, near Barrière, north of Kamloops. The highest density of nesting Flammulated Owls in B.C. (0.11 nests/40 ha) was found on Wheeler Mountain in 1995. This secretive, nocturnal owl is very difficult to census, but it may be locally abundant in some districts.
Flammulated Owls inhabit montane Ponderosa pine and other coniferous woodlands. In British Columbia, the species is found primarily in the dry Interior Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic zone, and secondarily in the Ponderosa pine zone. Breeding Flammulated Owls prefer old-growth stands (in B.C., trees > 141 years old), where there are snags containing nesting cavities. The understory is typically comprised of grasses and low shrubs.
Flammulated Owls nest in abandoned woodpecker holes, especially those of flickers. They produce only one brood per season. The number of eggs in a clutch varies from 1 to 5 (usually 3 or 4). The age at which these owls first breed is not known. They eat insects, spiders and other arthropods, which they capture during flight or by gleaning the bark of trees. The species is strictly nocturnal.
Flammulated Owl breeding habitat in British Columbia is affected primarily by forest and livestock management activities. Since the last century, the composition and structure of montane forests in western North America have been altered by active fire suppression, timber harvest, and livestock grazing. The owls leave areas where clear-cut logging or other practices have eliminated or reduced the availability of suitable habitat. Housing development in the Okanagan Valley has contributed to the loss of habitat. The Flammulated Owl is potentially vulnerable to aerial spraying with pesticides or other management procedures used to control forest insect pests which the owls eat.
Federal ProtectionMore information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
The Flammulated Owl is protected by the British Columbia Wildlife Act. Under this Act, it is prohibited to kill, harm, or collect adults and eggs, or to destroy active nesting sites.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
8 record(s) found.
- COSEWIC Status Reports (2 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Assessments (2 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (1 record(s) found.)
- Management Plans (1 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
COSEWIC Annual Reports
COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 (2010)Under Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. During the past year, COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings and reviewed the status of 79 wildlife species (species, subspecies, populations). During the meeting of November 2009, COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of the status of 28 wildlife species. COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of an additional 51 wildlife species (species, subspecies and populations) during their April 2010 meeting. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2009-2010 reporting period include the following: Extirpated: 6 Endangered: 39 Threatened: 16 Special Concern: 17 Data Deficient: 1 This report transmits to the Minister the status of 46 species newly classified as extirpated, endangered, threatened or of special concern, fulfilling COSEWIC’s obligations under SARA Section 24 and 25. A full detailed summary of the assessment for each species and the reason for the designation can be found in Appendix I of the attached report. Since its inception, COSEWIC has assessed 602 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 262 Endangered, 151 Threatened, 166 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated. In addition, 13 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct. Also, to date, 46 wildlife species have been identified by COSEWIC as Data Deficient and 166 wildlife species were assessed as Not at Risk. This year has been a particularly productive year for COSEWIC’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee. In April 2010 COSEWIC approved the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Process and Protocol Guidelines, providing clear and agreed principles for the gathering of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge to carry out COSEWIC functions as required under Section 15(2) of SARA (See Appendix III of the attached report). We are grateful for the rich and enthusiastic contribution made by community elders and experts in helping the ATK Subcommittee prepare the ATK protocols.
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