Big Owls need big trees!
The last great primary forests of Russia’s Far East are known for their tigers and bears, but they are also the domain of giant owls. A new study finds that the health of the rare Blakiston’s fish owl is intrinsic to that of these northern forests. The birds rely on old-growth forests along streams for both breeding and to support healthy populations of their favorite prey: salmon.
The study, led by WCS and the University of Minnesota, appears in the journal Oryx. The authors studied the foraging and nesting characteristics of Blakiston’s fish owl in Primorye, Russia, where they looked at nesting habitat over 7,804 square miles. They found that large old trees and riparian old-growth forest were the primary distinguishing characteristics of both nest and foraging sites.
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