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Palau owl



The Palau owl (Pyrroglaux podargina) is one of three Palau bird species that were virtually eliminated by damage caused to the Palau Islands (formerly a U.S. administered United Nations Trust Territory now under an independent constitutional government) during WWII [1]. Surveys conducted in 1945 found that the endemic owl, reported to be common in 1931, was scarce [2]. The population is thought to have continued to decline until the 1960s, possibly due to deaths caused by the ingestion of an introduced beetle [2]. Following efforts to control the introduced beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros), also a pest on coconut plantations, owl populations began to increase [2]. A 1976-1976 survey found Palau owls to be abundant throughout the archipelago [2] and in 1985, the USFWS removed the Palau owl along with the Palau ground dove and Palau fantail flycatcher from the endangered species list [1].

[1] Noecker R.J. 1998. Congressional Research Service, Report for Congress: Endangered Species List Revisions: A Summary of Delisting and Downlisting. Made available by National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington D.C.
[2] Pratt H.D., J. Engbring, P.L. Bruner, and D.G. Berrett. 1980. 1976-1979 Notes on the taxonomy, natural history, and status of the resident birds of Palau. Condor 82(2): 117-131.

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