Mt Coot-tha and the Powerful Owl
There is so much that is special about Mt Coot-tha, but right at the top of the list has to be the beautiful Powerful Owl. This raptor is the largest owl on the continent and an apex predator. A single pair will typically occupy a territory of several hundred hectares and occupy a suitably sized and located tree hollow.
The majority of the Powerful Owl’s diet is made up of arboreal mammals like possums, sugar gliders and even koalas. When hungry, they are also known to hunt and eat cockatoos and flying foxes.
As part of the Mt Coot-tha Zipline development application, a raptor study was undertaken by an independent owl expert. A key recommendation of the report was to realign the Treetop Canopy tour to provide at least a 100m buffer from the Powerful Owl habitat. As such, the Treetop Canopy tour was re-designed to achieve this separation.
Zipline Australia also added an additional alignment option to the final leg of the Treetop Canopy tour which will be used seasonally, providing an additional buffer during sensitive periods such as nesting and when fledglings are leaving the nest. Powerful Owls are not listed as threatened on the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, however their conservation status varies from state to state and the Powerful Owl is listed as “vulnerable" in Queensland.
Prior to construction and operation of the Treetop Canopy tour, Zipline Australia is looking forward to working with the project’s independent Powerful Owl expert to develop a Powerful Owl Management Plan to support its conservation and the productivity of its habitat. The final details of this plan are yet to be determined, but it is expected to include monitoring, establishment of additional nest boxes (for the Powerful Owl and its prey species), and ongoing health assessments of host trees. We can’t wait to share the ongoing story of this beautiful creature with you as one of the many stories told on the Treetop Canopy tour.