n African Zoology - A contribution from barn owl pellets to known micromammalian distributions in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Volume 37, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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Samples of barn owl pellets were collected from the Dundee, Estcourt and Kokstad areas of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, during March 2000 for their micromammalian prey remains. Other material collected from near Pietermaritzburg in 1988 / 89 by the late J.O.Wirminghaus was also analysed. A minimum of 38 micromammalian species was identified, with notable range extensions being recorded for and and new localities for all other species. These samples have also added to the numbers of insectivore and rodent species known to occur in the Drier and Moist Upland bioregions. General diversity appears to be much lower in the Coastal Hinterland bioregion but this is probably due to human disturbance of the vegetation near the collecting sites. The samples further illustrate the usefulness of data collection from barn owls for biodiversity studies in particular.

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