Ohio Dominican University (ODU) Associate Professor of Environmental Science Blake Mathys, Ph.D. hopes information collected as part of a new study provides better knowledge on owl populations and habitats across the state of Ohio, particularly those of species that are considered to be at risk.
Mathys, who heads ODU’s Environmental Science department, is asking residents across the state to report sightings of owls, specifically three species: The Northern Saw-whet Owl, Long-eared Owl, and Barn Owl. Since owls are nocturnal and naturally elusive, Mathys says it can be difficult to record how and where these particular owl species live.
“If those owls could be documented, it will help us to fill in blank areas on the map of owl distribution,” Mathys said. “These three species are considered to be threatened or species of concern in Ohio, so having more information about their winter distribution can help with conservation efforts. I am grateful to the many individuals across the state who have shared their sightings so far, and to Columbus Audubon for their financial support of our efforts.”
Individuals who share an owl sighting may be eligible to receive a cash reward. All sightings and locations will be kept strictly confidential, and will be reported at the county or township level. No owls will be harmed in this study.
For more information on the study or to submit a sighting, visit ohiodominican.edu/OwlProject.