Deakin University

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Home range, habitat use and movements by the little raven (Corvus mellori) in a coastal peri-urban landscape

journal contribution
posted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by Desley WhissonDesley Whisson, Mike WestonMike Weston, Kelly Shannon
Context In peri-urban environments, high availability of anthropogenic resources may result in relatively high abundances of some species, with potentially negative implications for other native biota. Effective management of such impacts requires understanding of the spatial ecology of problem species. However, home range and habitat use have not been described for the little raven (Corvus mellori), a superabundant native predator that occurs in urban and natural habitats, including those where threatened shorebirds breed. Aims The aim of this study was to provide basic information on little raven home range, habitat use and movements in a coastal peri-urban landscape. Methods Between October 2011 and January 2012 we radio-tracked 20 little ravens captured in a coastal wetland (near Melbourne, Australia). Key results Little ravens were highly mobile, moving up to 9.9km in an hour (median≤2km), and had large ranges: Minimum Convex Polygons were 1664-9989ha (median≤3362ha). Although most birds used both anthropogenic and natural habitats, some birds strongly selected for coastal wetland habitat. Birds used multiple roosts during the study period, most of which occurred in grassland (58.7%) or urban (22.3%) areas. Movement of up to 8.3km (median≤2.2km) between roosts during the night was also detected. Conclusions Ravens were highly mobile and used large home ranges and a variety of habitats, with habitat preferences varying between birds. Implications Considering the large home ranges and inter-individual variation in habitat preferences of little raven populations, localised management to reduce their impacts on breeding shorebirds is unlikely to be successful. Journal compilation



Wildlife research






500 - 508




Melbourne, Vic.





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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