BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Researchers observing a possible decline in short-eared owls are expanding their study from Idaho to eight western states.

Boise State Public Radio reported Thursday that researchers believe there has been a 60 percent decline in the owl's population in the West over the last 40 to 50 years.

Research Biologist Rob Miller says Boise State has been studying the owls in Idaho with several partner agencies and citizen scientists since 2015 and has expanded their efforts to Utah.

The study will be expanded to eight western states starting March thanks to a $500,000 grant from the Fish and Wildlife Service.

The grant will fund the study for three years.

Miller says they are looking for 600 citizen scientist volunteers to spend two hours a year surveying an area for owls.


Information from: KBSX-FM.