Recent excavations from late Pleistocene to Historical period sites on the islands of Guadeloupe and Saint Martin yielded bones of the Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia). The osteological description of the remains combined with the location of fossil-bearing sites and historical accounts show this owl to have been present across the Guadeloupe islands in historical periods. This species has been identified in multiple archaeological sites, including those reported here, attesting to the near continuous distribution of this owl throughout the pre-Columbian period in the north of Lesser Antilles. Taken together, these results challenge the previous hypothesis of a relict distribution of the Burrowing Owl as a consequence of climatically induced modifications of the Caribbean environment since the last glaciation.
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