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|BirdLife Species Guardian||Ishaka Said (Comoros Conservation Project)|
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This species is classified as Critically Endangered because it has a small population which is likely to be declining owing to continuing habitat destruction and degradation in its small range. Its prospects are currently uncertain as statistics on forest loss on Anjouan are unreliable. However, recent evidence suggests that it can adapt to human-affected forest areas where large trees remain, and recent fieldwork suggests that the population may be considerably larger than previously feared.<
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
20-22 cm. Small, eared, dark-coloured owl. Two colour forms; both are barred, streaked and vermiculated: one is dark ashy-brown and the other paler rufous-brown with pale grey facial disc bordered black. Both frequently seen together. Voice Distinct, drawn-out whistle, often repeated and separated by short interludes.
Conservation Actions Proposed
It survives in remaining fragments of native upland forest, degraded forest and plantations, and appears to be dependent on large trees with cavities for nesting and roosting, usually on steep slopes (Safford 1993). Surveys in 2010-2011 found the species to be commonest in native forest, with significantly lower densities in degraded forest and lower densities still in plantations, and it also occurs in agroforestry with natural or non-natural understorey vegetation (K. Green in litt. 2011). It has been recorded perching in thick cover, 3-15 m from the ground (Lewis 1996) and roosting 3-4m off the ground on the bottom branch of a tree fern (H. Doulton in litt. 2006, 2010). Insects are believed to form at least part of its diet (Safford 1993).
Habitat clearance for agriculture, timber extraction and charcoal manufacture is ongoing (Lewis 1996, Safford 2001, K. Green in litt. 2010). Between 1990-2000 the country suffered from the fourth highest rate of deforestation in the world. Remaining habitat is becoming increasingly degraded through human disturbance and invasion by exotic plants such as Rubus rosifolius and Lantana camara (Safford 1993). Introduced black rat Rattus rattus is abundant in the forest, and may predate nests (Safford 1993). The introduced Common Myna Acridotheres tristis may compete for nest holes (Safford 1993, H. Doulton in litt. 2006, 2010, C. Marsh in litt. 2007, 2009). Severe cyclones are a regular threat to remaining forest fragments (Safford 2001).
Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Long-term, ongoing developments that will benefit wildlife in general include a family-planning programme, environmental education projects, and the formation of a non-governmental environmental organisation (Ulanga) (Safford 1993). The UNDP, in partnership with the government, planned to implement a large-scale reserve covering Mount Ntingrui from around 2009. A participatory conservation project has been ongoing on Anjouan since 2008 (H. Doulton in litt. 2006, 2010, K. Green in litt. 2010). Activities centre on improving livelihoods and agricultural productivity, helping communities to collectively manage their natural resources such as water, and monitoring biodiversity patterns across all three islands to help prioritise areas for wildlife protection. Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation's (BCSF) project in the Comoros, Engagement Communautaire pour le Developpement Durable (ECDD) is taking a community-led landscape management approach towards the protection of forest and biodiversity in the Moya Forest region of Anjouan. Actions include intensification of agricultural practices to reduce the demand for land, improving soil fertility through terracing and the integration of livestock management into agricultural practices, and the development of alternative revenue streams such as through market gardening (K. Green, H. Doulton and B. Daniel in litt. 2012). Research aiming to establish estimates of current population size and distribution, establish a long-term monitoring scheme and recommend conservation actions to assist the preservation of the species began in 2010 (K. Green in litt. 2010, 2011).
Green, K. 2010. Encouraging results from the first comprehensive survey of the Anjouan Scops-owl. BirdLife Africa Newsletter 13(2): 25.
IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.2). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 13 November 2013).
Lewis, A. 1996. In search of the Badanga. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 3(2): 131-132.
Lloyd, S. P. 2010. Habitat suitability modelling for the Anjouan Scops Owl, a cryptic unstudied species. MSc, Imperial College, London.
Moorcroft, D. 1996. Anjouan Expedition '95.
Safford, R. J. 1993. Rediscovery, taxonomy and conservation of the Anjouan Scops Owl Otus capnodes (Gurney, 1889). Bird Conservation International 3: 57-74.
Safford, R. J. 2001. Comoros. In: Fishpool, L.D.C.; Evans, M.I. (ed.), Important Bird Areas in Africa and associated islands: Priority sites for conservation, pp. 185-190. Pisces Publications and BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No.11), Newbury and Cambridge, UK.
Text account compilers
Bird, J., Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Ekstrom, J., Pilgrim, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A. & Warren, B.
Doulton, H., Green, K., Marsh, C., Safford, R. & Daniel, B.
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Otus capnodes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/12/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/12/2014.
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.
|Current IUCN Red List category||Critically Endangered|
|Family||Strigidae (Typical Owls)|
|Species name author||(Gurney, 1889)|
|Population size||50-249 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||270 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|