Food habits of the barn owl Tyto alba in the National Reserve Pampa del Tamarugal, Atacama Desert, North Chile
In the present study the diet of the barn owl Tyto alba was analysed in the ecosystem of Pampa del Tamarugal, in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile. The area is characterised by extremely dry conditions, and relatively homogeneous and poor vegetation, dominated mainly by tamarugo forests ( Prosopis tamarugo ). The results indicated that small mammals were the greatest proportion (76.2%) in the diet of the barn owl, which predated only four species, of which the rodent Phyllotis darwini (approximately 62%) represented the major proportion. Nevertheless, reptiles and arthropods were also relevant prey for the barn owl, with a proportion of 5% and 15.1%, respectively. The general dietary composition of the tamarugos barn owl showed a wide-ranging diet pattern, characterised mainly by a poor diversity of small mammals and a significant consumption of reptiles and arthropods, in contrast to the sites in the central region and south Chile, where the diet included a greater diversity of small mammals, especially rodents. This pattern might reflect the conditions of extreme aridity, and low primary productivity in the ecosystem of Pampa del Tamarugal, restricting the abundance and diversity of the preferential prey (e.g. rodents). Hence, T. alba tends to increase its trophic diversity, adding other kinds of alternative prey to compensate for the low proportion of preferential prey available in the field. Â© 2006 Taylor & Francis.
|Título según WOS:||Food habits of the barn owl Tyto alba in the National Reserve Pampa del Tamarugal, Atacama Desert, North Chile|
|Título según SCOPUS:||Food habits of the barn owl Tyto alba in the National Reserve Pampa del Tamarugal, Atacama Desert, North Chile|
|Título de la Revista:||JOURNAL OF NATURAL HISTORY|
|Editorial:||TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD|
|Fecha de publicación:||2006|
|Página de inicio:||473|