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The diet of powerful owls (Ninox strenua) and prey availability in a continuum of habitats from disturbed urban fringe to protected forest environments in south-eastern Australia

Cooke, Raylene, Wallis, Robert, Hogan, Fiona, White, John and Webster, A. 2006, The diet of powerful owls (Ninox strenua) and prey availability in a continuum of habitats from disturbed urban fringe to protected forest environments in south-eastern Australia, Wildlife research, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 199-206, doi: 10.1071/WR05058.

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Title The diet of powerful owls (Ninox strenua) and prey availability in a continuum of habitats from disturbed urban fringe to protected forest environments in south-eastern Australia
Formatted title Diet of powerful owls (Ninox strenua) and prey availability in a continuum of habitats from disturbed urban fringe to protected forest environments in south-eastern Australia
Author(s) Cooke, RayleneORCID iD for Cooke, Raylene orcid.org/0000-0002-8843-7113
Wallis, Robert
Hogan, Fiona
White, JohnORCID iD for White, John orcid.org/0000-0002-7375-5944
Webster, A.
Journal name Wildlife research
Volume number 33
Issue number 3
Start page 199
End page 206
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Collingwood, Vic.
Publication date 2006-05-31
ISSN 1035-3712
1448-5494
Summary This study investigates the diet of six breeding pairs of powerful owls in the Yarra Valley Corridor in Victoria, Australia, and compares prey consumption with prey availability. The six sites represent a continuum of habitats, ranging from urban Melbourne, through the urban fringe interface to a more forested landscape. We found that powerful owls in the Yarra Valley Corridor are reliant almost exclusively on arboreal marsupial prey as their preferred diet, with 99% of their overall diet comprising four arboreal marsupial species. These four species (the common ringtail possum, common brushtail possum, sugar glider and greater glider) were also the most abundant species observed while spotlighting; however, their abundance varied along the continuum. There was a strong positive relationship with the presence of these species in the diet and their site-specific availability, indicating that the powerful owl is a generalist hunter, preying on the most available prey at a given site and in a given season. This study suggests that food resources are high in these disturbed urban fringe sites and it is unlikely that food availability in urban environments will limit the potential survival of urban powerful owls.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/WR05058
Field of Research 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©Reproduced with the specific permission of the copyright owner.
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30003761

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.