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Diet Comparison of Coexisting Collared Owlet (Glaucidium brodiei Burton, 1836), Spotted Owlet (Athene brama Temminck, 1821) and Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo Linnaeus, 1758) in Wildlife Park Lohi Bher, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Diet Comparison of Coexisting Collared Owlet (Glaucidium brodiei Burton, 1836), Spotted Owlet (Athene brama Temminck, 1821) and Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo Linnaeus, 1758) in Wildlife Park Lohi Bher, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Muhammad Bilal Anwar1, Mirza Azhar Beg1, Amjad Rashid Kayani1, Muhammad Sajid Nadeem1*, Syed Israr Shah1, Sajida Noureen2
Muhammad Mushtaq1 and Tariq Mahmood3

1Department of Zoology, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi
2Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, The University of Haripur, Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 22620
3Department of Wildlife Management, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi

*      Corresponding author: sajidnm@uaar.edu.pk

ABSTRACT

The collared owlet (Glaucidium brodiei), spotted owlet (Athene brama) and eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) are different sized avian predators coexisting in the Wildlife Park Lohi Bher, Rawalpindi district of the Punjab province of Pakistan. These crepuscular and nocturnal owls are the least studied group of birds in northern regions. In this study, we compared seasonal differences in the diet of three owl species in an uncultivated area with rapid urbanization all around to better understand their ecological significance. Regurgitated pellets of three owl species (n = 434) were collected seasonally from the study area. The food of the spotted owlet and eurasian eagle owl was found significantly different (P< 0.05) across seasons whereas no seasonal differences were seen in collared owlet’s prey resources. Insects of four orders dominated in the diet of collared owlet (50 %) and spotted owlet (56.62 %) whereas the major portion of the food of eurasian eagle owl was obtained from mammals (75.93 %) in numerical terms. Among mammals, house mouse Mus musculus, Asian house shrew Suncus murinus, short-tailed bandicoot rat Nesokia indica and Indian gerbil Tatera indica were the prominent food sources. Food niche breadth of the eurasian eagle owl was larger as compared to the other two owlet species. Index of relative importance (IRI) values highlighted rodents as staples in the three owls’ diets in contrast to conventional proportional representations. An inverse relationship between the body size of owls and preys suggested prey selection might be associated with ecological dynamics in prey populations.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

June

Vol. 53, Iss. 3, Pages 801-1200

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