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A survey of road-killed owls in north-eastern New South Wales.


All owls found dead along roads were noted as part of a larger survey of road-killed vertebrate fauna in north-eastern New South Wales between February 1978 and December 1999. 197 owls of five species, comprising two hawk owls, genus Ninox, and three masked owls, genus Tyto, were recorded. An average of 9.1 owls/yr was recorded, The Barn Owl Tyto alba and Southern Boobook Ninox novaeseelandiae comprised 91.3% of all records. Only three specimens (1.5%) of the Powerful Owl Ninox strenua, seven (3.6%) of the Masked Owl Tyto novaehollandiae and seven (3.6%) of the Grass Owl Tyto capensis were found. The Barn Owl, Masked Owl and Southern Boobook were recorded throughout the year. The Grass Owl was recorded only between late winter and late spring. The relative numbers of owls killed compared with other vertebrate species, the reasons for the seasonal bias, where present, and factors causing owls to be road-killed are discussed.

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