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1 December 2008 Natural History of the Red Owl (Tyto soumagnei) in Dry Deciduous Tropical Forest in Madagascar
Scott G. Cardiff, Steven M. Goodman
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Recent observations of the Red Owl (Tyto soumagnei) in Madagascar demonstrated that it inhabits dry deciduous forest, and roosts on rock ledges and in cave entrances in the extreme north of the island. We observed a Red Owl at a sinkhole site in the Réserve Spéciale d'Ankarana, found evidence of its use of an additional cave, and collected its pellets in three separate dry seasons between 2000 and 2003. Tsingy tufted-tailed rats (Eliurus antsingy) constituted almost 50% of the total prey mass of Red Owls at Ankarana. Their diet at Ankarana differed from that of Red Owls from Masoala in the humid northeast of Madagascar, as the Ankarana pellets contained insects, frogs, and numerous geckos. Red Owls appear to consume more native than introduced rodents and do not appear to prey upon birds or bats like other large owls on the island. Forest degradation could reduce densities of tufted-tailed rats and could be a conservation threat to this owl.

Scott G. Cardiff and Steven M. Goodman "Natural History of the Red Owl (Tyto soumagnei) in Dry Deciduous Tropical Forest in Madagascar," The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 120(4), 891-897, (1 December 2008).
Received: 30 May 2006; Accepted: 1 February 2008; Published: 1 December 2008

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