The scavenging behaviour of the Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides): patterns and influencing factors

Publisher:
Czech Society for Ornithology
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Sylvia, 2010, 46 pp. 133 - 148
Issue Date:
2010-01
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The Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) is a widespread, abundant corvid which is often considered a pest species, due to the thought that it predates on livestock, ruin crops, and is often seen feeding on refuse, in both urban and rural areas. The species is known to feed on a range of material from seeds in ploughed fields to human refuse and decomposing organic material. A large proportion of its diet consists of carrion, and as such, the Australian Raven is an effective detrivorous species capable of removing and consuming dead and decomposing carcasses. This research examined the scavenging pattern of the Australian Raven on domestic pig (Sus scrofa) carcasses at four different locations surrounding Perth, Western Australia. Domestic pig carcasses were sacrificed and placed in outdoor environments and the carcasses were filmed using infrared cameras with time-lapse image capture. The number of feeding events, length of feeding, material being fed upon, and associated weather data were recorded. Furthermore, the influences of location, season and life cycle of the Australian Raven on scavenging behaviour is examined. It was found that raven scavenging intensity was greatest during spring and as an omnivore there was significantly higher feeding on both flesh and insects in one event than either material on its own.
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