Barking Owl - vulnerable species listing

NSW Scientific Committee - final determination

The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Final Determination to list the Barking Owl,Ninox connivens, Latham 1851 as a VULNERABLE SPECIES on Schedule 2 of the Act. Listing of vulnerable species is provided for by Part 2 of the Act.

The Scientific Committee has found that:

1. The Barking OwlNinox connivens is approximately 40cm in length and weighs 300-500 grams. It is terrestrial, and generally nocturnal, although more active by day than most owls. It nests in tree hollows and lays 2-4 eggs. The species generally lives in pairs, and territory size is generally large (greater than 100 ha).

2. The Barking Owl is at the top of the food chain, taking birds, mammals and some invertebrates, although the exact requirements of the species are not well known in terms of prey, habitat floristics and habitat structure.

3. The Barking Owl lives in woodlands, primarily, but occurs in forests, partially cleared areas and occasionally near or in rural towns and well-treed suburbs.

4. The primary habitat of the Barking Owl - woodland - has declined dramatically due to clearing for agriculture and other human development.

5. The records of the Barking Owl in the past decade have declined, and there are records in the scientific literature that suggest the distribution and abundance of the species are in decline.

6. The Scientific Committee noted that information on the Barking Owl is contained in Debus, S.J.S. (1997) The Barking Owl in New South Wales Australian Birds 30(3) Journal of the NSW Field Ornithologists Club Inc.

7. Given the evidence of the decline in numbers, decline in habitat, low reproduction rate, and position at the top of the food chain, the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that the Barking Owl will become endangered in nature in New South Wales unless the factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease to operate and is therefore eligible for listing as a vulnerable species.

Proposed Gazettal Date: 12/6/98

Exhibition period: 12/6/98 to 17/7/98

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Page last updated: 28 February 2011