Research NewsConservation

Droppings Give the Lowdown On Stress in the Spotted Owl

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Science  15 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5328, pp. 901
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5328.901

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By scooping up feces from the endangered spotted owl and measuring hormone levels there, a team of researchers has shown that logging and road building can measurably increase the animal's stress. The finding--which is stirring controversy--has raised new doubts about the adequacy of government efforts to protect the owl. It also demonstrates a potentially valuable new technique for monitoring stress in beleaguered wildlife.