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 reports 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.

The study has received a $500,000 grant from the Fish and Wildlife Service allowing it to expand efforts to eight western states starting March.