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Reintroduction of captive-bred African Grass-Owls Tyto capensis into natural habitat

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This study represents the first attempt to determine post-release survival of a captive-bred owl in Africa. We released six captive-bred African Grass-Owls Tyto capensis into suitable habitat and, using radio telemetry, determined their daytime roost sites. One bird left the study area soon after release and did not yield data. Of the remaining five owls, three survived for at least 30 days in the wild, and all weaned off supplementary food onto a natural diet of wild rodents. Birds had no sign of supplementary food in their pellets after four, 28 or 33 days. Our results show similar success rates to those of both wild and captive-bred owls studied elsewhere in the world. Roost range area varied from 0.08–0.66km2. We conclude that captive breeding and release programmes may be a viable conservation option for African Grass-owls, if required in the future.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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