Journal article

The relationship between environmental variables, detection probability and site occupancy by Tasmanian nocturnal birds, including the Tasmanian masked owl (Tyto novaehollandiae castanops)

Michael K Todd, Rodney P Kavanagh, Trent D Penman, Phil Bell, Sarah A Munks



Knowledge of the habitat requirements of nocturnal birds is vital for the development of effective conservation strategies. This study is the first intensive systematic survey of the occurrence of the threatened Tasmanian masked owl (Tyto novaehollandiae castanops), the Tasmanian boobook (Ninox leucopsis) and the Australian owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles cristatus) in Tasmania using call playback, spotlighting and listening techniques. Occupancy models were created that explain the spatial distribution of the three species. Temperature and wind influenced the detectability of all species. Detectability of the Tasmanian boobook was also associated with nightlight. The Tasmanian masked owl was mos..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

This research was conducted under permits from the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme and the University of Tasmania Animal Ethics Committee (A0009763 and A0009685). It was funded in part by the Co-operative Research Centre for Forestry, the Winifred Violet Scott Charitable Trust, the Australian Geographic Society, the Threatened Species Section of the Biodiversity Conservation Branch, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment, the Australian Bird Study Association, Birds Australia (Stuart Leslie Award) and the Tasmanian Forest Practices Authority. MKT thanks Alastair Richardson, Mark Hindell, Daniel Livingston, Amy Koch, Shaun Thurstans, David Ratkowsky, Barry Rumbold, Wayne Kelly, Felicity Wilkinson, Richard Holmes and the many volunteers who came out on the off chance of seeing a masked owl. Thanks to Peter Volker and Perpetua Turner for comments on earlier drafts, and to Perpetua Turner for additional statistical assistance.