Barn owls deployed to Kangaroo Island

By Esme Mathis 20 July 2023
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Nest boxes for 12 barn owls have been installed at Dudley Peninsula on Kangaroo Island to control introduced rats and mice.

The Kangaroo Island Landscape Board (KILB) is attracting the avian predators so they can take over rodent control from feral cats, the population of which has been reduced by 80 per cent since 2020 following a trapping program.

The specially designed nest boxes were built by the Kingscote Men’s Shed with funding using a Kangaroo Island Grassroots Grant.

The idea was inspired by the Marna Banggara rewilding project, on the Yorke Peninsula, which installed barn owl nest boxes as feral cats and foxes were removed. 

“Encouraging owls to take up residence on properties out on the Dudley could be of great benefit,” says KILB’s Emily Reynolds.

Nest boxes include solar-powered, 4G-connected cameras to record activities and breeding.

“We’ve also provided perches that are a perfect stage for fledglings to gather and practise flying, and be photographed by us,” Emily says.