1. bookVolume 3 (2009): Issue 2009 (January 2009)
Journal Details
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eISSN
2644-5247
ISSN
1337-3463
First Published
09 Nov 2012
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1 time per year
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English
access type Open Access

Food of the Barn Owl (Tyto alba) in the Eastern Mediterranean

Published Online: 05 Jul 2012
Volume & Issue: Volume 3 (2009) - Issue 2009 (January 2009)
Page range: 41 - 50
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2644-5247
ISSN
1337-3463
First Published
09 Nov 2012
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English
Food of the Barn Owl (<italic>Tyto alba</italic>) in the Eastern Mediterranean

The composition of the Barn Owl (Tyto alba) diet analysed from pellets collected in several regions of the Eastern Mediterranean is presented. In total, 27 samples from 21 sites in S Italy, S Greece (incl. Crete), S Turkey, NW Syria, SW Lebanon, N Israel, and N Egypt were composed of 8842 prey individuals. Mammals represented the dominant part of the prey (90% of the identified prey individuals, comprising 44 species). Birds were less abundant (7%), however, their diversity was enormous (64 species). Amphibians and reptiles were rarely represented in the diet (0.9%), while invertebrates we found more often (2.2%). The relative abundance of particular prey items in the Barn Owl diet was analysed in four geographical regions: (a) SE Europe (Calabria, Peloponnese, Crete), (b) Levantine parts of Turkey and Syria, (c) Lebanon and N Israel, and (d) N Egypt. In complex evaluation of the sample set, endemic forms composed a special group of prey items: Microtus savii, Sorex samniticus, and Talpa romana in Calabria; Microtus thomasi in Peloponnese; Acomys minous in Crete; and Gerbillus amoenus in Egypt. Another group of prey is represented by typical Levantine species: Microtus guentheri, Meriones tristrami, Apodemus mystacinus, and Rana ridibunda. Apodemus flavicollis and Crocidura leucodon were more abundant in Calabria while less abundant in the Levant. Synanthropic mammals (Mus spp., Rattus rattus, Suncus etruscus, Crocidura suaveolens) and birds (Passer domesticus) represented a significant part of the diet in the majority of the studied area.

Keywords

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