The Powerful Owl

Subject: The Powerful Owl
From: Natalie Zumpe <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2004 11:27:35 +1000

Deakin discussions - Free talks exploring and informing community and global issues

The Powerful Owl: An Urban Survivor
Presented by Dr Raylene Cook
Tuesday 6 July, 7pm.
Room LT12, Deakin University Burwood Campus, 221 Burwood Hwy. (Free Parking)

The Powerful Owl is Australia?s largest owl. Traditionally perceived as confined to old-growth, low disturbance forests, these owls can occasionally be found in urban areas. Population estimates for the species are less than 500 pairs across the State of Victoria so having these owls appearing in the urban areas is important. Being a nocturnal predator, their preferred prey in urban areas of Melbourne is the Common Ringtail Possum and the Common Brushtail Possum. A family of Powerful Owls consumes 250-300 possums each year.

While it is exciting to find Powerful Owls in highly urban areas, there is no evidence that they are breeding in the city. This may be due to the loss of large old eucalypt trees with suitable breeding hollows. Unfortunately these owls cannot breed without a suitable tree hollow and with the continued removal of old habitat trees the prospects of successful breeding does not look good.

Current research aims to determine where these owls have come from and will examine whether they are the offspring of Powerful Owls that have been breeding in Melbourne?s urban fringe areas for some years. DNA analysis of the owls? feathers will provide the key to the genetic makeup of these Powerful Owls and will point to their origins.
For further information contact:

Ms Natalie Zumpe, Community Relations
Telephone 5227 8555 Email:

Natalie Zumpe, External Relations Unit, Marketing Division
+Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia, 3217
(Phone: 03 5227 8555 International +61 3 5227 8555
(Fax: 03 5227 8527 International +61 3 5227 8527
Deakin University CRICOS Provider Code 00113B

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