Council OKs burrowing owl plan | October 26, 2012 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - October 26, 2012

Council OKs burrowing owl plan

by Daniel DeBolt

Burrowing owl lovers rejoiced Tuesday when the City Council adopted a plan to protect the rare ground-dwelling bird.

The plans makes it a goal to keep over 300 acres of nesting and foraging habitat for the owls in Shoreline Park and calls for hiring a full time biologist (with compensation of up to $115,000) who will ensure their habitat is safe from predators and has a healthy population of ground squirrels and plenty of favorable vegetation. It also includes a $676,000 project that moves a 9-acre storage area out of the preserve, making a swath of land along the park's main road more inviting for the rare birds.

"This plan shows leadership," said Shani Kleinhaus, environmental advocate for the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society. "The fact you are looking at hiring a dedicated biologist and including this 9-acre site, we are really proud of you."

The council voted 6-1 to approve the plan with council member Tom Means opposed at the Oct. 23 meeting.

Wildlife preservationists are concerned that the rare owls could be gone from Santa Clara County within two decades. Their current numbers are at only a few dozen, spread out among bayfront areas at Shoreline Park, Moffett Field and Alviso.

"I wish other cities would do something like this, too, said Gita Dev of the Sierra Club.

The plan also encourages developing a volunteer program with the Audubon Society and encourages local universities to become involved in research that will help save the owls.

Email Daniel DeBolt at


There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields