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The Boreal Owl: Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation of a Forest-Dwelling Predator

  • Synthesises the results of unique long-term studies of Boreal Owls, exploring key topics like hunting modes, habitats and foods, prey interactions, reproduction and conservation
  • Questions how Boreal Owls could be managed to sustain viable populations, making this a valuable resource for researchers in the field as well as conservationists, bird-watchers, naturalists and forest managers
  • Beautifully illustrated, with 32 pages of full-colour images featuring a range of photographs of Boreal Owls and their habitats

By: Erkki Korpimäki(Author), Harri Hakkarainen(Author)

391 pages, 32 plates with colour photos and colour illustrations; b/w photos, b/w illustrations, tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jul 2014 | #213147 | ISBN-13: 9781107425323
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £40.99 $53/€46 approx
Hardback | Sep 2012 | #198377 | ISBN-13: 9780521113717
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £103.00 $134/€115 approx

About this book

Widespread in North American forest regions including the Rocky Mountains, the boreal owl (Aegolius funereus) was once the most numerous predatory bird in Eurasian boreal forests. Synthesising the results of unique long-term studies of boreal owls, The Boreal Owl: Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation of a Forest-Dwelling Predator explores hunting modes, habitats and foods, prey interactions, mating and parental care, reproduction, dispersal, survival and mortality, population regulation and conservation in boreal forests.

Providing a detailed introduction to the species, the authors study the complex interactions of boreal owls with their prey species. They examine the inter-sexual tug-of-war over parental care, and the behavioural and demographic adaptations to environmental conditions that predictably and markedly fluctuate both seasonally and multi-annually. They also question whether boreal owls are able to time their reproductive effort to maximise lifetime reproductive success. Discussing the effect of modern forestry practices on owl populations, The Boreal Owl: Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation of a Forest-Dwelling Predator also examines how boreal owls could be managed to sustain viable populations.

"Behavioral and population ecologists will find much value in this highly accessible book. Recommended."
- R. L. Smith, Choice

"Most texts on owls are descriptive, and so this one is unusual in having so much scientific research on a single species [...] the content is interesting [...] deserves to be found in libraries."
- Professor Jim Lynch OBE FSB, The Biologist

"One of the most valuable aspects of the book is the integration of 40 years of research that encompasses many different research questions focussed on a single species. [...] clearly took tremendous effort and dedication; few other studies will match this one in extent and duration."
- Ecology

"This sumptuous book, written by the world's foremost Boreal Owl experts and chock full of interesting information [...] is literally 'worth its weight in gold' [...] It is highly recommended for every university library and for every keen owl student throughout the world."
- C. Stuart Houston, The Canadian Field-Naturalist



1. Introduction
2. Boreal (or Tengmalm's) Owls: briefly
3. Study areas and research methods
4. Habitat use, roosts and nest sites
5. Interactions with prey animals
6. Life-history
7. Mating and parental care
8. Reproduction
9. Dispersal and autumn movements
10. Survival and mortality under temporally varying food conditions
11. Old forests increase survival and lifetime reproductive success
12. Family planning under fluctuating food conditions
13. Population dynamics
14. Population regulation
15. Conservation of Boreal Owl populations


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Erkki Korpimäki is Professor of Animal Ecology at the Department of Biology, University of Turku, Finland. His long-term research questions have focused on how predators are adapted to the large spatio-temporal fluctuations in their main prey densities, the apparent impacts of predators on prey populations and the effects of human-induced changes in the environment on viability of populations.

Harri Hakkarainen is Adjunct Professor of Animal Ecology at the Department of Biology, University of Turku, Finland. His main fields of research have included landscape ecology, environmental ecology, life-history and demography, habitat and diet selection, sexual selection and dispersal of individuals.

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