Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Seasonal and environmental effects on morepork (Ninox n. novaeseelandiae) vocalisations in two forests in Northland, New Zealand

TitleSeasonal and environmental effects on morepork (Ninox n. novaeseelandiae) vocalisations in two forests in Northland, New Zealand
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsColbourne, R, Digby, A
JournalNotornis
Volume65
Issue1
Pagination27-34
Type of ArticleFull article
Keywordsbioacoustics, morepork, Ninox novaeseelandiae, owls, ruru
Abstract

To investigate factors that might influence calling rates of morepork (ruru, Ninox n. novaeseelandiae), Song Meter SM2+ acoustic recorders were deployed for 12 months recording every night at Hodges Bush (a remnant forest) and Trounson Kauri Park (TKP) in Northland, New Zealand. Three call types were recorded: the classic ‘morepork’ hoot, the ‘wheel’ and ‘wok’. There was no strong seasonal variation in ‘morepork’ hoots from Hodges Bush, although there were fewer hoots from February to March. At TKP, the number of hoots declined from June to August, but the number of ‘wheel’ and ‘wok’ calls remained constant. At dusk, ‘Morepork’ hoots gradually increased until they were at their greatest frequency 3 hours after sunset at both sites. Thereafter, the number of calls reduced through the night at TKP, but remain constant at Hodges Bush until a second peak 2 hours before dawn, after which numbers drop off markedly. The other two call types were constant throughout the night at both localities, but with a pre-dawn peak at Hodges Bush. There was no significant correlation between calls and moon phase at either site. We suggest that it is possible to use vocal activity as a means of monitoring morepork population changes, but more studies are needed to determine variations between sites and different population densities.

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