Nature conservation

Threatened species

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua)

Species Action Statement

This species has been assigned to the Landscape species management stream under the Saving our Species (SoS) program.

Justification for allocation to this management stream

This species is distributed across relatively large areas and is subject to threatening processes that generally act at the landscape scale (e.g. habitat loss or degradation) rather than at distinct, defineable locations.

Conservation status

Management objectives

This action statement aims to ensure that the species is secure in the wild in NSW and that its NSW geographic range is extended or maintained.

Species sightings and management sites across NSW

The map below displays the species’ distribution in NSW, based upon the species’ geographic range, habitat distribution or area of occupancy (to as high a resolution as available data allow, using a range of data sources).

Information about the species’ habitat and ecology is available here.

The map may also display one or more management sites where management of important populations is underway. More information is available in the tables below.

Your search returned one or more sites that are restricted due to the sensitive nature of either the species or the site. Individuals involved in management on these sites can access detailed information via the database.


The species occurs in the following IBRA (Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia) regions in NSW:

Australian Alps
Brigalow Belt South
Darling Riverine Plains
Murray Darling Depression
New England Tablelands
NSW North Coast
NSW South Western Slopes
South East Corner
South Eastern Highlands
South Eastern Queensland
Sydney Basin

Proportion of the species' distribution on reserve

42% of the species' distribution occurs on reserve (within NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service estate).

Critical actions for this species

The key threats to the viability of landscape-managed species are loss, fragmentation and degradation of habitat, and widespread pervasive factors such as impacts of climate change and disease. Many of these threats are addressed by NSW planning, native vegetation, and biodiversity legislation, policy and programs including the offsets program (BioBanking, NSW Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects), Biodiversity Certification, management of environmental water and reservation under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Threats to this species are outlined here.

The actions listed in the action toolbox are supplementary to NSW legislation, policy and programs and can be used by stakeholders, where applicable to guide management at a site, regional or state scale.

Action toolbox

Action DescriptionScale
Consolidate all available information, knowledge and assessment protocols to create a consensus of best practice guidelines, providing a single point source to advise land managers about powerful owl conservation. Update regularly. Seek novel educational frameworks that increase public interest in applying these guidelines. State
Negotiate with relevant landholders to enter into agreements, particularly in-perpetuity covenants or stewardship agreements, that promote the retention of large old trees, riparian habitat, owl roost sites and other high value habitat (as developed in the best practice guidelines). Site
In regions where high priority powerful owl populations can be increased and stabilised, improve habitat quality and reconstruct connectivity. Focus initially on restoration of arboreal habitat that will foster populations of habitat-specific mammalian prey. Create wide corridors, especially in riparian habitat where prey are potentially more abundant due to better resources and soil fertility. Area
At sites where tree hollows are few or declining within high priority powerful owl populations, trial the installation of nest boxes to increase mammalian prey densities. Expand the program if demonstrated to be effective for owls and use as a tool to educate the public about the impact of hollow loss. Site, Area
Encourage development of citizen science programs in urban areas where an increase in community engagement is likely to create broader conservation awareness of powerful owls. Area
Document and protect known nests. Ensure that no habitat degradation occurs within 100m (e.g. hazard reduction burns or tree felling). Facilitate the location of new nest sites through observer training and encouragement. Site

How will this species be managed?

Key management sites for this threatened species are being identified by the NSW Government and other program partners, where feasible, cost-effective and beneficial management actions can be undertaken. Currently, 1 management site has been identified for this threatened species.

Management sites

Click on column headers to sort
Site nameSite typeStatusLocal government area (LGA)
Northern Rivers Region (South) - Co-investment site Priority management siteActive Richmond Valley 

Are you or is someone you know doing conservation work for this species or in this area?

Contact us to tell us about the work. Your input will help OEH evaluate the status of threatened species and provide a broader picture of conservation work across NSW.