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Eurasian Scops-owl Otus scops
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Not Recognised

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Medium
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 8,550,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 800000-1400000 poor Estimated 2012
Population trend Decreasing Suspected -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 3.7 - - -
Population justification: The European population is estimated at 232,000-393,000 pairs, which equates to 463,000-785,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms approximately 57% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 812,000-1,380,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. It is placed in the band 800,000-1,400,000 mature individuals.
Trend justification: The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction. In Europe the population size trend is unknown (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Native Extant Yes      
Albania Native Extant Yes      
Algeria Native Extant        
Andorra Native Extant Yes      
Armenia Native Extant Yes      
Austria Native Extant Yes      
Azerbaijan Native Extant Yes      
Bahrain Native Extant     Yes  
Belarus Native Extant Yes      
Belgium Vagrant Extant        
Benin Unknown Extant        
Bulgaria Native Extant Yes      
Burkina Faso Unknown Extant        
Burundi Unknown Extant Yes      
Cameroon Native Extant   Yes    
Central African Republic Unknown Extant        
Chad Native Extant   Yes    
China (mainland) Native Extant Yes      
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Unknown Extant        
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant   Yes    
Croatia Native Extant Yes      
Cyprus Native Extant       Yes
Czech Republic Native Extant Yes      
Denmark Vagrant Extant        
Djibouti Native Extant   Yes    
Egypt Native Extant     Yes  
Equatorial Guinea Native Extant        
Eritrea Native Extant   Yes    
Ethiopia Native Extant   Yes    
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Vagrant Extant        
France Native Extant       Yes
Gambia Native Extant   Yes    
Georgia Native Extant Yes      
Germany Vagrant Extant        
Ghana Native Extant   Yes    
Gibraltar (to UK) Native Extant Yes      
Greece Native Extant     Yes Yes
Guinea Native Extant   Yes    
Hungary Native Extant Yes      
Iceland Vagrant Extant        
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Iraq Native Extant       Yes
Ireland Vagrant Extant        
Israel Native Extant Yes      
Italy Native Extant       Yes
Jordan Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kenya Native Extant   Yes    
Kuwait Native Extant     Yes  
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant Yes      
Latvia Vagrant Extant        
Lebanon Native Extant     Yes Yes
Liberia Native Extant   Yes    
Libya Native Extant        
Liechtenstein Vagrant Extant        
Lithuania Native Extant Yes      
Luxembourg Vagrant Extant        
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant       Yes
Mali Native Extant   Yes    
Malta Native Extant   Yes    
Mauritania Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Moldova Native Extant Yes      
Mongolia Native Extant Yes      
Montenegro Native Extant Yes      
Morocco Native Extant        
Netherlands Vagrant Extant        
Niger Native Extant   Yes    
Nigeria Native Extant   Yes    
Norway Vagrant Extant        
Oman Native Extant     Yes  
Pakistan Native Extant Yes      
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant Yes      
Poland Native Extant Yes      
Portugal Native Extant Yes      
Qatar Native Extant     Yes  
Romania Native Extant Yes      
Russia Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes      
Rwanda Unknown Extant   Yes    
Saudi Arabia Native Extant     Yes  
Senegal Native Extant   Yes    
Serbia Native Extant Yes      
Seychelles Vagrant Extant        
Sierra Leone Unknown Extant   Yes    
Slovakia Native Extant Yes      
Slovenia Native Extant Yes      
Somalia Native Extant   Yes    
South Sudan Native Extant   Yes    
Spain Native Extant       Yes
Sudan Native Extant        
Sweden Vagrant Extant        
Switzerland Native Extant Yes      
Syria Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Tajikistan Native Extant Yes      
Tanzania Native Extant   Yes    
Togo Native Extant   Yes    
Tunisia Native Extant        
Turkey Native Extant       Yes
Turkmenistan Native Extant Yes      
Uganda Native Extant   Yes    
Ukraine Native Extant       Yes
United Arab Emirates Native Extant     Yes  
United Kingdom Vagrant Extant        
Uzbekistan Native Extant Yes      
Western Sahara Native Extant        
Yemen Native Extant     Yes  

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Armenia Khosrov Reserve site factsheet
Austria Surroundings of Mattersburg site factsheet
Austria Unterlammer hill country site factsheet
Bosnia and Herzegovina Livno karst field and Busko lake site factsheet
Bulgaria Arda Bridge site factsheet
Bulgaria Byala Reka site factsheet
Bulgaria Dobrostan site factsheet
Bulgaria Kamchiyska Mountain site factsheet
Bulgaria Vitosha Mountain site factsheet
Cyprus Akamas and Agia Aikaterini – Agia Paraskevi Gorges site factsheet
Cyprus Karpasia Peninsula - Kleides Islands site factsheet
Cyprus Mahairas Forest - Tzionia site factsheet
Cyprus Pafos Forest site factsheet
Cyprus Pentadaktylos Mountains site factsheet
France Chaîne des Alpilles site factsheet
France Iles d'Hyères site factsheet
France Plaine des Maures site factsheet
France Plateau de Valensole site factsheet
France Vallée du Régino site factsheet
Greece Central Rodos and the areas of Lindos, Mesanagros and Katavia-Prassonisi site factsheet
Greece Gavdos and Gavdopoula islands, Crete site factsheet
Greece Thessaly plain site factsheet
Italy Lake Bolsena site factsheet
Italy Mount Cervati site factsheet
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Pelagonia site factsheet
Russia (European) Buzulukski forest site factsheet
Russia (European) Forest-steppe Gyul'chachak (Peony forest-steppe) site factsheet
Russia (European) Mountain valley of Zilim river site factsheet
Russia (European) Tul'skiye Zaseki forest site factsheet
Russia (European) Uryuk site factsheet
Russia (European) Vedeneevsk pine forest site factsheet
Serbia Cer mountain site factsheet
Serbia Derdap gorge site factsheet
Serbia Fruska gora site factsheet
Serbia Prokletije site factsheet
Slovenia Goričko site factsheet
Slovenia Karst site factsheet
Slovenia Kozjansko site factsheet
Slovenia Ljubljansko moor site factsheet
Slovenia Snežnik plateau and Pivka valley site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land Suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland Suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland Suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations Suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations Suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens Suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens Suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas Suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas Suitable breeding
Forest Boreal Suitable breeding
Forest Boreal Suitable non-breeding
Forest Temperate Suitable breeding
Forest Temperate Suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation Suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation Suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 3000 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Shifting agriculture Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic species/disease of unknown origin / Named species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents / Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Indirect ecosystem effects
Residential & commercial development Housing & urban areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem conversion


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - International

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Otus scops. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Strigidae (Typical Owls)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size 800000-1400000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 8,550,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment