Spatial ecology of sooty owls in south-eastern Australian coastal forests : implications for forest management and reserve design

Bilney, Rohan J., White, John G., L'Hotellier, Felicity A. and Cooke, Raylene 2011, Spatial ecology of sooty owls in south-eastern Australian coastal forests : implications for forest management and reserve design, Emu, vol. 111, no. 1, pp. 92-99.

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Title Spatial ecology of sooty owls in south-eastern Australian coastal forests : implications for forest management and reserve design
Author(s) Bilney, Rohan J.
White, John G.
L'Hotellier, Felicity A.
Cooke, Raylene
Journal name Emu
Volume number 111
Issue number 1
Start page 92
End page 99
Total pages 8
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Collingwood, Vic.
Publication date 2011-02-21
ISSN 0158-4197
1448-5540
Keyword(s) habitat use
hollows
home-range
logging
Tyto tenebricosa
Summary We investigated the home-range size and habitat use of eight Sooty Owls (Tyto tenebricosa tenebricosa) in coastal forests in East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia, between November 2006 and January 2008. The size of home-ranges varied widely; based on 95% adaptive kernel estimates, the average size of home-ranges of males was 3025ha (±1194s.d., n=3), whereas that of females was 994ha (±654s.d., n=5). Sooty Owls utilised a broad range of ecological vegetation classes and topographical features for roosting and foraging at a greater scale than previously assumed. There was minimal selection for habitat types based on floristic composition, primarily only avoiding heathlands (for foraging and roosting) and selecting particular dense foliage (rainforest and riparian scrub) for foliage roosting. Two Owls maintained home-ranges close to logged areas, with logging regrowth (<45 years old) being strongly avoided by both individuals. We recommend that the size of individual reserves for Sooty Owls in commercial forests should be increased to more closely resemble the core spatial resource requirements needed by a pair. Reserves should be largest where they feed predominantly on hollow-dependent prey. Most importantly, rather than conservation measures just focussing on the spatial requirements of Sooty Owls, efforts should be directed towards retaining high densities of crucial resources, such as hollow-bearing trees and mammalian prey species throughout the landscape.
Language eng
Field of Research 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
Socio Economic Objective 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30040492

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