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COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Burrowing Owl in Canada

Biographical Summary of Report Writer

David Wiggins is an ornithologist working in Sweden and North America. He completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Oklahoma, a Master’s degree at Brock University (on parental care in Common Terns, under Ralph Morris), a Ph.D. at Simon Fraser University (on quantitative genetics in Tree Swallows, under Nico Verbeek), and a post-doctoral fellowship at Uppsala University in Sweden (on life-history evolution in Collared Flycatchers). David has since worked as a Research Ecologist within the Danish Environment Ministry, and is currently a consultant to the U.S. Forest Service, working with avian conservation projects in the western U.S.

Authorities Contacted

A number of regional experts have provided direct comments or published and unpublished data in support of this status report. Ken De Smet (Wildlife & Ecosystem Protection Branch, Manitoba Conservation) provided information on the status of owls in Manitoba. Geoff Holroyd (CWS, Edmonton) and Troy Wellicome (CWS Edmonton and Chair of the Burrowing Owl Recovery Team) allowed me to attend the Recovery Team meeting in October, 2004, and also shared numerous reports and unpublished data. I also thank Operation Burrowing Owl (Kim Dohms) and Operation Grassland Community (Lindsay Tomyn) for the trend data from those two programs, as well as Ray Poulin (University of Alberta) and Danielle Todd (CWS Edmonton) for extensive unpublished data from the Regina Plain study. All of the participants at the Recovery Team meeting kindly shared data and ideas. Other authorities contacted include Gilles Seutin (Parks Canada), Diane Amirault and Theresa Aniskowicz (Environment Canada), Gord Court (Alberta Fish and Game), and Gloria Goulet (COSEWIC/CWS).

Funding provided by the Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada.