Animal Biology 61 (2011) 29–47 brill.nl/ab Potential competition between two top-order predators following a dramatic contraction in the diversity of their prey base Rohan J. Bilney , Raylene Cooke ∗ and John G. White School of Life & Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia Abstract Two sympatric native top-order predators, the sooty owl ( Tyto tenebricosa tenebricosa ) and power- ful owl ( Ninox strenua ) coexist throughout much of their range in south-eastern Australia. Following European settlement, however, major changes in resource availability for these predators potentially resulted in increased competition, especially for food. This study examined ecological attributes of both species, including intersexual differences in the sooty owl, potential resource partitioning and whether competition may be occurring. Dietary overlap was high between female sooty owls and powerful owls (0.90), compared to overlap between male sooty owls and powerful owls (0.67), with three mammalian species contributing over 74% of their diets. Sooty and powerful owls coexisted throughout the study region, regularly roosting within the same vegetation types, and in similar lo- cations, although microhabitat differences were apparent. Sooty owls displayed aseasonal breeding, although a peak in fledging in spring coincided with powerful
Animal Biology – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2011
Keywords: OWL; RESOURCE PARTITIONING; TYTO TENEBRICOSA; COMPETITION; NINOX STRENUA
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