Inventory of Streaked Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris strigata) Populations on Federal, State, and Municipal Lands in Oregon’s Willamette Valley

According to historic reports, streaked horned larks formerly occupied the entirety of lowland Oregon and Washington west of the Cascades, from the Rogue River Valley in the south to extreme southern British Columbia in the north. From published accounts, it is certain that an extensive range retraction has occurred in the last century. It is assumed by nearly all concerned that a concomitant decrease in population size has occurred, although no estimates of range-wide populations before range contraction are available. Pearson and Altman (2005) estimated the global population at fewer than 1000 birds; the survey data to which they had access, however, were very preliminary for Oregon. On the strength of the above information, Eremophila alpestris strigata (hereafter strigata) has been designated a candidate species for placement on the Federal Endangered Species List.

The vast majority of this species’ core range is privately owned and unavailable for conservation management, at least in the short term. Because private participation in habitat management will likely be small-scale and potentially short-term, initial management efforts for strigata will likely be focused on public lands. There is great potential to establish a self-sustaining, permanent, core population of strigata on publicly owned land in the Willamette Valley.