The Powerful Owl is Australia’s biggest owl, and one of our biggest nocturnal predators. Powerful Owls may be able to kill a possum in a single squeeze, but they can’t compete with the rapid clearing of their habitat. The recent loss of more than 30% of their habitat in the catastrophic bushfires along the east coast, means this species is in trouble.
Our urban spaces may be the saving grace for Powerful Owls. They can survive within cities and, in some cases, even breed in suburban backyards. The Greater Sydney region has the highest known density of Powerful Owls anywhere in Australia! 10% of the up to 8 000 strong NSW population lives there. But life in the city can be hard for Powerful Owls. They’re constantly losing habitat through urban sprawl and the removal of the big old trees they nest in. What few hollow bearing trees remain are hotly contested for by a range of wildlife and that isn’t to mention things like car strike (which kills 10-13% of them every year), and developing threats like rodenticide poisoning and inappropriate night lighting.
Photo Credit: Dave Robson & Cathy Cook