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Change in the diet of sooty owls (Tyto tenebricosa) since European settlement: from terrestrial to arboreal prey and increased overlap with powerful owls

Bilney, Rohan, Cooke, Raylene and White, John 2006, Change in the diet of sooty owls (Tyto tenebricosa) since European settlement: from terrestrial to arboreal prey and increased overlap with powerful owls, Wildlife research, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 17-24, doi: 10.1071/WR04128.

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Title Change in the diet of sooty owls (Tyto tenebricosa) since European settlement: from terrestrial to arboreal prey and increased overlap with powerful owls
Formatted title Change in the diet of sooty owls (Tyto tenebricosa) since European settlement: from terrestrial to arboreal prey and increased overlap with powerful owls
Author(s) Bilney, Rohan
Cooke, RayleneORCID iD for Cooke, Raylene orcid.org/0000-0002-8843-7113
White, JohnORCID iD for White, John orcid.org/0000-0002-7375-5944
Journal name Wildlife research
Volume number 33
Issue number 1
Start page 17
End page 24
Publisher CSIRO Publishing with the cooperation of the Australian Academy of Science
Place of publication East Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2006
ISSN 1035-3712
1448-5494
Summary The current diet of the sooty owl (Tyto tenebricosa) was determined by analysing freshly regurgitated pellets collected beneath their roosting sites in East Gippsland, Victoria. Comparisons were then made with: (i) prehistoric and historic diet from bone deposits found in cave roosts, and (ii) diet of a sympatric owl species, the powerful owl (Ninox strenua). Sooty owls consumed a large array of terrestrial mammal species before European settlement, but only three terrestrial species were detected in their current diet, a reduction of at least eight species since European settlement. To compensate, sooty owls have increased their consumption of arboreal prey from 55% to 81% of their diet. Arboreal species are also a major component of the powerful owl diet and this prey shift by sooty owls has increased dietary overlap between these two species. Predation by foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and other feral species is likely to have reduced the amount of terrestrial prey available to sooty owls since European settlement. Investigation of changes in the diet of sooty owls may offer a unique monitoring system for evaluating the ability of fox-control strategies to influence increases in numbers of critical-weight-range mammals.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/WR04128
Field of Research 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
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:30003762

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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.