ORI National Geographic Article turns 15!

It was exactly 15 years ago that National Geographic featured the Owl Research Institute's work with Snowy Owls as their cover story, The Magic of Snowy Owls, written by Lynne Warren, Photos by Daniel J. Cox.

The Snowy Owl Breeding Ecology and Lemming Population Study in Barrow, Alaska, began in 1992, and is the longest running study of its kind in North America. The initial research question was to evaluate the predator-prey relationship between the Snowy Owl and Brown Lemming – the owl’s primary food source. As with most studies, a host of other simple questions arose, and the study grew to monitor growth rates, plumage development, stress response to research, nest defense behavior, satellite tracking, and made new discoveries about infectious diseases in Brown Lemmings.

Now in its 26th year, the most important objective remains long-term research and monitoring. We know that Snowy Owl and Brown Lemming numbers in Barrow are declining for reasons we don’t yet understand. With new, analytical exploration of our data, we hope to determine if these population declines are linked to a changing Arctic climate. ORI's Snowy Owl study has now evolved to include a message of advocacy for Arctic wildlife conservation.

Today, we are as fascinated by Snowy Owls as when the project started and consider ourselves so fortunate to be able to study these incredible raptors in the wild.

Visit the link below to read the article:


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We welcome all media inquiries. If you are a credentialed member of the media and wish to set up an interview or request further information, please e-mail owlresearchinstitute@gmail.com



We are so grateful to the photographers who capture owls, and our work, in the most amazing ways. They generously share their work with us, and you. Check out the works of some of the photographers whose work is featured on our site! They are incredible talented artists who are committed to wildlife conservation.

Thank you to:

Kurt Lindsay: https://kurtlindsay.smugmug.com/Nebulosa/i-7D8Wh9d

Daniel J Cox: http://naturalexposures.com

Radd Icenoggle: https://www.flickr.com/photos/radley521

Melissa Groo: https://www.melissagroo.com

Ly Dang: https://www.nature2pixels.com

Tom Murphy: https://www.tmurphywild.com/

Deborah Hanson



The ORI is a non-profit, 501(c) 3, tax-exempt organization. We are funded by individual and non-profit  group donations, grants from foundations and corporations, and occasionally agency contracts.

We accept donations of real property. Please consider us in your estate planning.

Donations are tax-deductible to the extent of the law. Our federal tax identification number is 81-0453479.




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