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A new little offspring of a pair of Mexican spotted owls has just been found at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The laboratory is a known habitat for two nesting couples, and now both pairs of the threatened species have new chicks.
The Mexican spotted owl is one of a handful of threatened species at Los Alamos. Their habitat is protected and they coexist with the nuclear weapons business under special conditions and dispensations.
“The law requires that none of our actions adversely affect a threatened or endangered species, unless we go through a consultation process with the Fish and Wildlife Service,” said Leslie Hansen, a biologist and a team leader responsible for the endangered species act at the laboratory.
Hansen and other team members in the environmental protection division at the lab systematically survey all the potentially suitable habitats every year.
The biologists make night expeditions along the rims or bottoms of the canyons, playing recorded owl calls, while stopping and listening for a response. During the breeding season, the nocturnal owls respond, giving the investigators clues about where they might be found.
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