Powerful Owls and Hazard Reductions

To: <>
Subject: Powerful Owls and Hazard Reductions
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2001 18:17:42 +1000
Hi Birders,
I found Reg Clarke's summary of the change in diet of the Powerful Owl following a hazard reduction most interesting but also noted his questioning of the rationanlity of having a hazard reduction. This reminds me that following a bushfire in Wyrrabalong National Park in  1993 ( an area having a large Ringtail population), the formerly rarely recorded New Holland Mouse Pseudomys novaehollandiae, became very common from 1 year to 3 years after the fire on the coastal heaths of Wyrrabalong, but gradually the numbers fell away once the heath and coastal forest gradually regained its usual height.
Similarly following a bushfire in Cockle Bay Nature Reserve in 1992, the virtually locally unknown and Threatened, Eastern Chestnut Mouse Meloyms sp. was readily found in this coastal swamp forest. Again as the  period since the last fire continues to extend, I am sure that the vegetation at Cockle Bay is probably now  once again unsuitable for that large mouse. However I would like to think that the Barn Owls at Wyyrabalong and the Masked Owls near Cockale Bay benifitted from those fires! Properly managed Hazard Reductions have an important role to play in nature conservation and there is evidence to show that most of our wildlife is able to adapt to hazard reductions and wildfires. What may have been to the disadvanage to the Powerful owl, may have been to the advantage of other birds. Obviously when the Powerful Owls at Turramurra turned to eating Pied Currawongs & Rainbow Lorikeets, the latter two species were not greatly missed.
Alan Morris 
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU