Sep 29, 2021 - News
How to help threatened burrowing owls
In the 1980s, Hillsborough County had more adorable burrowing owls than any other U.S. county.
- But during the Audubon's 2018 Christmas Bird Count, volunteers found none. The Athene cunicularia floridana is now listed as "threatened" on Florida's Endangered and Threatened Species list.
What's happening: Sprawling development in eastern Hillsborough has nearly wiped out the local population of pint-sized predators that feed on insects, rodents and snakes, 83 Media reports.
Driving the news: The Tampa Audubon Society is trying to revive the local population by building sturdy burrows on farms, prairies and open land.
Due to the amount of new construction, they are really losing options faster than we can replace them.— Rebecca Schneider, a regional biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, to 83 Degrees.
What's next: Tampa Audubon is working with schools, strawberry farmers and ranchers to find good spots for the faux burrows.
- Now they need more friendly landowners to host the burrows and volunteers to install them.
Other ways to help:
- Protect burrowing owls and other birds by keeping dogs on leashes and cats indoors.
- Eliminate toxic pesticides and fertilizers from your garden that are bad for the environment.
- Report burrowing owl sightings to 813-365-7944 or [email protected].
More Tampa Bay stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Tampa Bay.