Yosemite owls may be unique subspecies

September 23, 2010 

Great gray owls in Yosemite National Park may be a unique subspecies, park officials said on Thursday.

Yosemite is home to approximately 150 great gray owls, estimated to be 65 percent of the great gray owl population in California. Research has shown that the Yosemite owls are genetically distinct from other great gray animals found in North America, Asia and Europe.

The Yosemite subspecies has been named Strix nebulosa yosemitensis.

In addition to genetic differences, scientists have observed behavioral differnces in the Yosemite subspecies, including distinct migration patterns, prey preference and nest site selection methods.

Park officials said in a press release that they hope future research will allow them to identify additional specific characteristics.

Yosemite is home to more than 400 species of animals, including 165 types of birds.

Merced Sun-Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service