Degree Granting Department
Environmental Science and Policy
Melissa Grigione, Ph.D.
Activity budget, Satiation point, Prey availability, Phosphate, Hatching success
At present, the Florida Burrowing Owl is being threatened by extensive habitat development throughout their small range in the state. Unfortunately, developers are able to collapse burrowing owl burrows during the non-breeding season and flush the owls from an area. In other areas such as Arizona and British Columbia translocation is being utilized to mitigate the effects of development on burrowing owls. In March 2006, the only translocation of burrowing owls in Florida was conducted by Mosaic Phosphate Company. The purpose of this thesis was to elucidate the effects of translocation on Florida burrowing owls. Topics of research include activity budgets, insect trapping, burrowing owl diet, prey availability, and hatching success for two populations of Florida burrowing owls in Hillsborough and Polk Counties, Florida. Results of this study indicate that translocation has little effect on Florida Burrowing Owl activity budgets.
There were significant differences in scanning, time spent in the burrow, and resting between the control and treatment groups (p < 0.05). Though differences in behavior were present between translocated and non-translocated study groups, there was no statistically significant difference (p < 0.025) between the pre-and post translocation study group. Results of the prey availability study indicate that while there are significantly different amounts of arthropods between study areas (p < 0.025), a threshold or satiation point may have been reached at these areas, as trapping results do not match diet results. This satiation point may have been due to cattle dung present at the burrowing owl's breeding areas, which provides a micro-habitat for many prey items.
While hatching success was lower for the post translocation group compared to the pre-translocation group, hatching success also was decreased for the control group.This overall decrease indicates that translocation was not the main factor affecting the hatching success of our study groups.
Scholar Commons Citation
Nixon, Per Anders, "Effects of translocation on the Florida Burrowing Owl, athene cunicularia floridana" (2006). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.