Dr Steve Debus

Adjunct Lecturer - School of Environmental & Rural Science

Steve Debus

Phone: +61 2 6773 2510

Email: sdebus@une.edu.au

Biography

Qualifications

BA (Biol./Behav. Sc.)
Dip. Natural Resources (Wildlife)
Dip. Ed. (Sc.), MSc. (Zool.)
PhD (Zool.)

Professional capacities/research interests

  • Vertebrate fauna surveys.
  • Research and survey of threatened forest and woodland birds, particularly raptors and owls.
  • Ecology/biology/behaviour of birds, especially predatory species.
  • Conservation and management of threatened bird species.
  • Distribution, status and biology/ecology of NSW birds.
  • Reviews and biological profiles of bird species.
  • Editing ornithological papers.
  • Peer review of ornithological documents/EISs/species impact statements.
  • Impact assessment (avifauna)

Grants and awards:

Search for Red Goshawk in NSW: $1,000 from the Australian Bird Environment Fund (Bird Observers Club of Aust.), 1987.

Distribution, status and habitat requirements of the Sooty Owl in northern NSW: $2,000 as a Cayley Memorial Scholarship (Gould League of NSW) 1990-93; with Associate Professors Hugh Ford & Harry Recher (UNE), $34,280 from WWF Australia and $64,835 from ANPWS (Endangered Species Program) 1990-93.

Will wildlife corridors work for sedentary birds?: with Professor Hugh Ford, $42,565 from the NSW Environmental Trust 2005, $43,359 in 2006-07.

Bird Observers Club of Australia: Distinguished Service Award, 2005 (editing the Australian Bird Watcher/Australian Field Ornithology for 21 years 1984-2005).

Publications:

~100 refereed papers, books and book contributions

Refereed publications (selected titles):

Debus, S.J.S.  1984.  Biology of the Little Eagle on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales. Emu 84: 87-92.

_____, Ley, A.J., Trémont, S. & Trémont, R.  1991.  Breeding behaviour and diet of the Australian Hobby Falco longipennis in northern New South Wales.  Aust. Bird Watcher 14: 123-137.

Debus, S.J.S.  1992.  A survey of diurnal raptors in north-east New South Wales, 1987-1990.  Aust. Birds 25: 67-77.

Debus, S.J.S.  1993a.  The mainland Masked Owl Tyto novaehollandiae: a review.  Aust. Bird Watcher 15: 168-191.

_____ 1993b.  The status of the Red Goshawk Erythrotriorchis radiatus in New South Wales, in Olsen, P.D. (Ed.), Australian Raptor Studies, Australasian Raptor Association, RAOU, Melbourne.

Debus, S.J.S., Ley, A.J., Trémont, S.M., Trémont, R.M. & Collins, J.L.  1993.  Breeding behaviour and diet of the Collared Sparrowhawk Accipiter cirrhocephalus in northern New South Wales. Aust. Bird Watcher 15: 68-91.

Debus, S.J.S., McAllan, I.A.W. & Mead, D.A.  1993.  Museum specimens of the Red Goshawk Erythrotriorchis radiatus. I.  Annotated list of specimens; II.  Morphology, biology and conservation status in eastern Australia.  Sunbird 23: 5-28; 75-89.

Debus, S.J.S., McAllan, I.A.W. & Morris, A.K.  1993.  The Square-tailed Kite Lophoictinia isura in New South Wales.  Aust. Birds 26: 104-118.

Peake, P., Conole, L.E., Debus, S.J.S., McIntyre, A. & Bramwell, M.  1993.  The Masked Owl Tyto novaehollandiae in Victoria.  Aust. Bird Watcher 15: 124-136.

Ford, H.A., Davis, W.E., Debus, S., Ley, A., Recher, H. & Williams, B.  1993.  Foraging and aggressive behaviour of the Regent Honeyeater Xanthomyza phrygia in northern New South Wales.  Emu 93: 277-281.

Debus, S.J.S.  1994.  The Sooty Owl Tyto tenebricosa in New South Wales.  Aust. Birds 28 supplement: 4-19.

_____ & Chafer, C.J.  1994.  The Powerful Owl Ninox strenua in New South Wales.  Aust. Birds 28 supplement: 21-38.

_____ & Rose, A.B.  1994.  The Masked Owl Tyto novaehollandiae in New South Wales.  Aust. Birds 28 supplement: 40-64.

Debus, S.J.S.  1995.  Surveys of large forest owls in northern New South Wales: methodology, calling behaviour and owl responses.  Corella 19: 38-50.

Kavanagh, R.P., Debus, S., Tweedie, T. & Webster, R.  1995.  Distribution of nocturnal forest birds and mammals in north-eastern New South Wales: relationships with environmental variables and management history.  Wildlife Research 22: 359-377.

Debus, S.J.S.  1997a.  A survey of the raptors of Jervis Bay National Park.  Aust. Birds 30: 29-44.

_____ 1997b.  The Barking Owl in New South Wales.  Aust. Birds 30: 53-80.

_____ 1997c.  Aspects of the biology of captive-bred, hack-released Masked Owls Tyto novaehollandiae. In Czechura, G. & Debus, S. (Eds), Australian Raptor Studies II.  Birds Australia Monograph 3, Birds Australia, Melbourne.

_____ 1997d.  Vocal behaviour of the Southern Boobook Ninox novaeseelandiae and other nocturnal birds. In Czechura, G. & Debus, S. (Eds), Australian Raptor Studies II.  Birds Australia Monograph 3, Birds Australia, Melbourne.

Mathieson, M.T., Debus, S.J.S., Rose, A.B., McConnell, P.J. & Watson, K.M.  1997.  Breeding diet of the Letter-winged Kite Elanus scriptus and Black-shouldered Kite Elanus axillaris during a House Mouse plague.  Sunbird 27: 65-71.

Debus, S.J.S., Maciejewski, S.E. & McAllan, I.A.W.  1998.  The Grass Owl in New South Wales. Aust. Birds 31: 29-45.

Brigham, R.M., Debus, S.J.S. & Geiser, F.  1998.  Cavity selection for roosting, and roosting ecology of forest-dwelling Australian Owlet-nightjars (Aegotheles cristatus).  Aust. J. Ecol. 23: 424-429.

Bischoff, T., Lutter, H. & Debus, S.  2000.  Square-tailed Kites breeding on the mid-north coast of New South Wales.  Aust. Bird Watcher 18: 233-240.

Brown, B., Brown, F. & Debus, S.J.S.  2000.  Further observations on a pair of Square-tailed Kites nesting near Grafton, New South Wales. Aust. Bird Watcher 18: 270-273.

Debus, S.J.S. & Rose, A.B.  2000.  Diet of Grey Falcons Falco hypoleucos breeding extralimitally in New South Wales.  Aust. Bird Watcher 18: 280-281.

Harrington, G.N. & Debus, S.J.S.  2000.  Dietary items of the Rufous Owl Ninox rufa on the Atherton Tableland, north Queensland.  Aust. Bird Watcher 18: 251-252.

Debus, S.J.S.  2001.  Surveys of the Barking Owl and Masked Owl on the North-west Slopes of New South Wales.  Corella 25: 5-11.

Barnes, C.P., Zillmann, E.E., Rose, A.B. & Debus, S.J.S.  2001.  Diet and biology of the Square-tailed Kite Lophoictinia isura in south-eastern Queensland: nest-building to post-fledging. Aust. Bird Watcher 19: 28-43.

Debus, S.J.S., Agnew, L.R. & Schulz, M.  2001.  Surveys of the Grass Owl Tyto capensis in coastal New South Wales. Aust. Bird Watcher 19: 94-102.

Debus, S.J.S.  2002.  Distribution, taxonomy, status and major threatening processes of owls of the Australasian Region. In Newton, I., Kavanagh, R., Olsen, J. & Taylor, I. (Eds), Ecology and Conservation of Owls, CSIRO, Melbourne.

Griffiths, H., Lutter, H., Rose, A.B. & Debus, S.J.S.  2002.  Breeding and diet of a pair of Square-tailed Kites Lophoictinia isura on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. Aust. Bird Watcher 19: 184-193.

Debus, S.J.S. & Rose, A.B.  2003.  Diet of a Barking Owl Ninox connivens in the channel country of south-west QueenslandCorella 27: 18-19.

Lutter, H., Dinnie, R. & Debus, S.J.S.  2003.  Square-tailed Kites breeding in northern coastal New South Wales: post-fledging diet and behaviour. Aust. Field Ornithology 20: 94-104.

Debus, S.J.S., Olsen, J. & Rose, A.B.  2004. Diet of the Barn Owl Tyto alba near Lake Frome in arid South AustraliaCorella 28: 40-42.

Debus, S.J.S. & Rose, A.B.  2004.  Diet of the Barn Owl Tyto alba near Tamworth, New South Wales. Corella 28: 95.

Lutter, H., Lutter, M., Rose, A.B. & Debus, S.J.S.  2004.  Breeding biology and diet of the Square-tailed Kite on the mid-north coast of New South WalesAust. Field Ornithology 21: 141-157.

Olsen, J., Debus, S., Rose, A.B. & Hayes, G.  2004.  Breeding success, cliff characteristics, and diet of Peregrine Falcons at high altitude in the Australian Capital Territory.  Corella 28: 33-37.

Barnes, C.P., Rose, A.B. & Debus, S.J.S.  2005.  Breeding behaviour and diet of a family of Barking Owls Ninox connivens in south-eastern QueenslandAust. Field Ornithology 22: 182-195.

Debus, S.J.S.  2005.  White-bellied Sea-Eagles breeding in the Australian Capital Territory?  Canberra Bird Notes 30: 146-147.

Debus, S.J.S., Ford, J.A. & Rose, A.B.  2005.  Breeding-season diet of a pair of Barking Owls near Armidale, New South Wales.  Corella 29: 15-16.

Debus, S.J.S. & Lollback, G.  2005.  Breeding behaviour of the Restless Flycatcher near Armidale, New South Wales. Aust. Field Ornithology 22: 22-28.

Debus, S.J.S. & Rose, A.B.  2005.  Spring diet of Pied Currawongs at Imbota Nature Reserve, Armidale, New South Wales.  Corella 29: 19-21.

Debus, S.J.S., Hatfield, T.S., Olde, G.S. & Rose, A.B.  2005.  Breeding behaviour and diet of a pair of Black Falcons Falco subniger in northern New South WalesAust. Field Ornithology 22: 165-181.

Courtney, J. & Debus, S.J.S.  2006a.  Breeding habits and conservation status of the Musk Lorikeet Glossopsitta concinna and Little Lorikeet G. pusilla in northern New South WalesAust. Field Ornithology 23: 109-124.

_____ & _____ 2006b.  Observations on the post-fledging period of the Barn Owl Tyto alba. Aust. Field Ornithology 23: 159-162.

Debus, S.J.S.  2006a.  Breeding and population parameters of robins in a woodland remnant in northern New South Wales, AustraliaEmu 106: 147-156.

_____ 2006b.  Breeding biology and behaviour of the Scarlet Robin Petroica multicolor and Eastern Yellow Robin Eopsaltria australis in remnant woodland near Armidale, New South WalesCorella 30: 59-65.

_____ 2006c.  Breeding habitat and nest-site characteristics of Scarlet Robins and Eastern Yellow Robins near Armidale, New South WalesPacific Conservation Biology 12: 261-271.

_____ 2006d.  The role of intense nest predation in the decline of Scarlet Robins and Eastern Yellow Robins in remnant woodland near Armidale, New South WalesPacific Conservation Biology 12: 279-287.

Debus, S.J.S. & Rose, A.B.  2006.  Supplementary data on breeding and diet of the Northern Forest Raven Corvus tasmanicus boreus. Aust. Field Ornithology 23: 96-101.

Debus, S.J.S., Ford, H.A. & Page, D.  2006.  Bird communities in remnant woodland on the New England Tablelands, New South WalesPacific Conservation Biology 12: 50-63.

Debus, S.J.S., Ford, H.A. & Trémont, S.M.  2006.  Bird communities in remnant woodland on the upper North-west Slopes of New South WalesAust. Zoologist 33: 519-529.

Debus, S.J.S., Lollback, G., Oliver, D.L. & Cairns, S.C.  2006.  The birds of Bulgunnia and Mulyungarie Stations in the pastoral zone of arid South Australia.  South Australian Ornithologist 35: 27-37.

Debus, S.J.S., Olde, G.S., Marshall, N., Meyer, J. & Rose, A.B.  2006.  Foraging, breeding behaviour and diet of a family of Black-shouldered Kites Elanus axillaris near Tamworth, New South WalesAust. Field Ornithology 23: 130-143.

Lutter, H., McGrath, M.B., McGrath, M.A. & Debus, S.J.S.  2006.  Observations on nesting Brahminy Kites Haliastur indus in northern New South Wales. Aust. Field Ornithology 23: 177-183.

Debus, S.J.S.  2007a.  Avifauna of remnant bushland in south-east Queensland I: Brisbane and hinterland.  Sunbird 37(2): 14-24.

_____ 2007b.  Avifauna of remnant bushland in south-east Queensland II: The Gold Coast hinterland.  Sunbird 37(2): 25-32.

_____ 2007c.  Avifauna of remnant bushland in south-east Queensland III: The Sunshine Coast and hinterland.  Sunbird 37(2): 33-44.

_____ 2007d.  Avifauna of remnant bushland on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales.  Sunbird 37(2): 45-55.

Debus, S.J.S. & Wood, C.  2007.  Growth of a nestling Masked Owl Tyto novaehollandiaeAust. Field Ornithology 24: 49-53.

Debus, S.J.S., Hatfield, T.S., Ley, A.J. & Rose, A.B.  2007a.  Breeding biology and diet of the Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax in the New England region of New South WalesAust. Field Ornithology 24: 93-120.

Debus, S.J.S., Hatfield, T.S., Ley, A.J. & Rose, A.B.  2007b.  Breeding biology and diet of the Little Eagle Hieraaetus morphnoides in the New England region of New South WalesAust. Field Ornithology 24: 137-157.

Debus, S.J.S., Ley. A.J. & Rose, A.B.  2007.  Winter diet of a Barn Owl and a Nankeen Kestrel in Diamantina National Park, western Queensland.  Sunbird 37: 1-8.

Debus, S.J.S.  2008a.  The effect of Noisy Miners on small bush birds: an unofficial cull and its outcomePacific Conservation Biology 14: 185-190.

Debus, S.J.S.  2008b.  Biology and diet of the White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster breeding in northern inland New South WalesAust. Field Ornithology 25: 165-193.

Debus, S.J.S., Ley, A.J. & Rose, A.B.  2008. Further dietary items of the Eastern Barn Owl Tyto javanica in Diamantina National Park, QueenslandAust. Field Ornithology 25: 149-152.

Trost, S., Olsen, J., Rose, A.B. & Debus, S.J.S.  2008.  Winter diet of Southern Boobooks Ninox novaeseelandiae in Canberra 1997-2005Corella 32: 66-70.

Debus, S.J.S. & Ley, A.J.  2009.  Aspects of the breeding cycle of the Little Eagle Hieraaetus morphnoidesAust. Field Ornithology 27: 76-99.

Cherriman, S.C., Foster, A. & Debus, S.J.S.  2009.  Supplementary notes on the breeding behaviour of Wedge-tailed Eagles Aquila audax. Aust. Field Ornithology 27: 142-147.

Ford, H.A., Walters, J.R., Cooper, C.B., Debus, S.J.S. & Doerr, V.A.J.  2009.  Extinction debt or habitat change? – Ongoing losses of woodland birds in north-eastern New South Wales, Australia.  Biological Conservation 142: 3182-3190.

Debus, S.J.S., Ley, A.J. & Rose, A.B.  2010. Diet of the Eastern Barn Owl Tyto (javanica) delicatula in Diamantina National Park, south-western Queensland, in 2008–2009. Australian Field Ornithology 27: 179-183.

Olsen, J., Fuentes, E., Judge, D., Rose, A.B. & Debus, S.J.S.  2010.  Diets of Wedge-tailed Eagles (Aquila audax) and Little Eagles (Hieraaetus morphnoides) breeding near Canberra, Australia. J. Raptor Research 44: 50-61.

Debus, S.J.S.  2011.  Parental time-budgets and breeding behaviour of the Little Eagle Hieraaetus morphnoides in northern New South Wales. Corella 35: 65-72.

Debus, S.J.S. & Olsen, J.  2011.  Some aspects of the biology of the Black Falcon Falco subniger. Corella 35: 29-36.

Debus, S.J.S. & Tsang, L.R.  2011.  Notes on Black Falcons Falco subniger breeding near Tamworth, New South Wales. Australian Field Ornithology 28: 13-26.

Barnes, C.P. & Debus, S.J.S. (2012).  A snapshot in the post-fledging period of the Black Falcon.  Australian Field Ornithology 29: 86-88.

Debus, S.J.S. (2012).  Hunting behaviour of Black Falcons. Australian Field Ornithology 29: 83-85.

Debus, S.J.S. & Ford, H.A. (2012).  Responses of Eastern Yellow Robins Eopsaltria australis to translocation into vegetation remnants in a fragmented landscape. Pacific Conservation Biology 18: 194-202.

O'Donnell, W.B. & Debus, S.J.S. (2012).  Nest-sites and foraging of the White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster on the subtropical eastern Australian coast. Australian Field Ornithology 29: 149-159.

Olsen, J., Debus, S.J.S., Rose, A.B. & Judge, D. (2013).  Diets of White-bellied Sea-Eagles Haliaeetus leucogaster and Whistling Kites Haliastur sphenurus breeding near Canberra, 2003–2008.  Corella 37: 13-18.

Debus, S.J.S., Olsen, J., Judge, D. & Butterfield, M. (2013).  Numbers of breeding Little Eagles Hieraaetus morphnoides near Canberra in relation to atlas counts.  Corella 37(2): in press.

Olsen, J., Debus, S.J.S. & Judge, D. (2013).  Declining Little Eagles Hieraaetus morphnoides and increasing rabbit numbers near Canberra: is secondary poisoning by Pindone the problem?  Corella 37(2): in press.

Olsen, J., Debus, S.J.S., Judge, D. & Rose, A.B. (2013).  Diets of Wedge-tailed Eagles Aquila audax and Little Eagles Hieraaetus morphnoides breeding near Canberra, 2008–2009.  Corella 37(2): in press.

Debus, S.J.S. (in press).  Breeding of the Hooded Robin Melanodryas cucullata in native and exotic woodlands near Armidale, New South Wales.  Corella.

Books:

Debus, S.J.S.  1993.  Falconiformes, Accipitridae, Falconidae, Gurney's Eagle, Little Eagle, Square-tailed Kite, Osprey texts in Marchant, S. & Higgins, P.J. (eds), Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds, Vol. 2, Raptors to Lapwings.  Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

_____ 1994.  Australasian raptor species texts in del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World vol. 2.  Lynx, Barcelona.

_____ 1996.  Turnicidae, buttonquail species texts in del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World vol. 3.  Lynx, Barcelona.

Czechura, G. & Debus, S. (Eds)  1997.  Australian Raptor Studies II.  Birds Australia Monograph 3, Birds Australia, Melbourne.

Debus, S.  1998.  The Birds of Prey of Australia: A Field Guide.  Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Debus, S.J.S. (Ed.)  1999.  Strigiformes, Caprimulgiformes species accounts in Higgins, P.J. (Senior Ed.), Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds, Volume 4, Parrots to Dollarbird, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Debus, S.  1999.  Red Goshawk, Barking Owl species accounts in Ayers, D., Nash, S. & Baggett, K., Threatened Species of Western New South Wales, National Parks & Wildlife Service, Sydney (revised edition).

Olsen, P., Debus, S., Shea, C.J., Bildstein, K.L. & Ellis, S. (Eds)  2000.  Selected Australasian Falconiformes Conservation Assessment and Management Plan.  IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, Apple Valley (MN, USA).

Debus, S.  2009.  The Owls of Australia: A Field Guide to Australian Night Birds.  Envirobook, Sydney.

Curtis, L.K., Dennis, A.J., McDonald, K.R., Kyne, P.K. & Debus, S.J.S. (Eds)  2012.  Queensland's Threatened Animals (Debus: Powerful Owl, Rufous Owl, Masked Owl species accounts).  CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

Debus, S.  2012.  Birds of Prey of Australia: A Field Guide, 2nd edn.  CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

Theses:

Debus, S.  1994.  Aspects of the biology, conservation and management of threatened forest owls and raptors in northern New South Wales.  MSc thesis, University of New England, Armidale.

Debus, S.  2004.  The impact of habitat fragmentation on woodland birds: A test of some hypotheses in New England.  PhD thesis, University of New England, Armidale.

Qualifications

PhD (UNE)