Great Gray Owl habitat selection and home range characteristics

We are evaluating the habitat parameters that influence Great Gray Owl territory selection and reproductive success.  Specifically, we will quantify Great Gray Owl home range size as well as habitat selection during the breeding season in western Wyoming.  Currently, home range size and resource requirements remain unknown for this raptor species.  Identifying the home range size and important foraging and post-fledging areas for breeding Great Gray Owls is critical for the development of effective conservation strategies for this state-sensitive species, especially in the face of declining productivity and changing forest habitat.

This research is taking place in Teton County, Wyoming beginning in the spring of 2018 and is a collaboration with Teton Raptor Center and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.


Katherine Gura
Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Department of Zoology and Physiology
University of Wyoming
Dept. 3166, 1000 E. University Avenue
Laramie, WY 82070
[email protected]

Project Lead

Katherine is currently a research assistant pursuing a master of science degree in Zoology and Physiology through the Chalfoun Lab in the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. She received a B.A. in English and American Literatures and Environmental Studies from Middlebury College. After college, she conducted fieldwork in a variety of ecosystems, including the Peruvian Amazon, but most recently, she has focused on avian research in Wyoming. Just prior to graduate school, she worked at Teton Raptor Center in Wilson, WY, where she was a research associate, coordinating fieldwork for studies on a variety of raptor species. She has studied Great Gray Owls in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for a number of years and her current graduate work is an extension of this research, specifically assessing Great Gray Owl breeding season habitat selection and home range characteristics in Wyoming. Generally, Katherine is interested in conducting applied research that evaluates habitat health and change through the lens of raptor species as indicators of ecosystem health. During her free time, Katherine enjoys trail-running with her favorite field assistant, her pup Dipper.

Funding & Partners

Wyoming Game and Fish Department

Teton Raptor Center

Meg and Bert Raynes Wildlife Fund

Boyd Evison Graduate Fellowship