Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Seven federally protected Mexican spotted owl chicks hatch on Los Alamos National Laboratory property

Biologists located a record seven federally threatened Mexican spotted owl chicks on Los Alamos National Laboratory property during nest surveys last month.
July 13, 2015
A parent owl sits with two chicks.

A parent owl sits with two chicks.

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“Stewardship and our national mission operate hand-in-hand at the Laboratory,” said Michael Brandt.

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., July 13, 2015—Biologists located a record seven federally threatened Mexican spotted owl chicks on Los Alamos National Laboratory property during nest surveys last month.

“We’ve never found this many chicks,” said Chuck Hathcock, wildlife biologist with the Environmental Stewardship group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “It’s encouraging to see successful nests because it’s an indication that our efforts to protect these species are making an impact.”

Under its Habitat Management Plan, the Laboratory protects and manages species that are federally listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, including the Mexican spotted owl and Jemez Mountain salamander. The Laboratory’s plan was originally approved in 2000 and requires surveillance and protection of endangered species and their habitats.

Much of the owls’ primary habitat in the Jemez Mountains was destroyed during the Las Conchas fire in 2011, making the protection of the remaining habitat on Laboratory property even more crucial.

“Stewardship and our national mission operate hand-in-hand at the Laboratory,” said Michael Brandt, associate director of the Environment, Safety and Health directorate. “We’re committed to establishing protective actions for our environment while planning mission-critical projects. Through these efforts, we hope to maintain a robust wildlife habitat as we strive to achieve the Laboratory’s mission.”

About Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, BWXT Government Group, and URS, an AECOM company, for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.


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