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19 October 2015 Home range, habitat use and movements by the little raven (Corvus mellori) in a coastal peri-urban landscape
Desley A. Whisson, Michael A. Weston, Kelly Shannon
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Context. In peri-urban environments, high availability of anthropogenic resources may result in relatively high abundances of some species, with potentially negative implications for other native biota. Effective management of such impacts requires understanding of the spatial ecology of problem species. However, home range and habitat use have not been described for the little raven (Corvus mellori), a superabundant native predator that occurs in urban and natural habitats, including those where threatened shorebirds breed.

Aims. The aim of this study was to provide basic information on little raven home range, habitat use and movements in a coastal peri-urban landscape.

Methods. Between October 2011 and January 2012 we radio-tracked 20 little ravens captured in a coastal wetland (near Melbourne, Australia).

Key results. Little ravens were highly mobile, moving up to 9.9 km in an hour (median = 2 km), and had large ranges: Minimum Convex Polygons were 1664–9989 ha (median = 3362 ha). Although most birds used both anthropogenic and natural habitats, some birds strongly selected for coastal wetland habitat. Birds used multiple roosts during the study period, most of which occurred in grassland (58.7%) or urban (22.3%) areas. Movement of up to 8.3 km (median = 2.2 km) between roosts during the night was also detected.

Conclusions. Ravens were highly mobile and used large home ranges and a variety of habitats, with habitat preferences varying between birds.

Implications. Considering the large home ranges and inter-individual variation in habitat preferences of little raven populations, localised management to reduce their impacts on breeding shorebirds is unlikely to be successful.

© CSIRO 2015
Desley A. Whisson, Michael A. Weston, and Kelly Shannon "Home range, habitat use and movements by the little raven (Corvus mellori) in a coastal peri-urban landscape," Wildlife Research 42(6), 500-508, (19 October 2015).
Received: 19 February 2015; Accepted: 1 September 2015; Published: 19 October 2015

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