email a friend
printable version
NT
Shelley's Eagle-owl Bubo shelleyi

Justification
This species is listed as Near Threatened because it is suspected to have a moderately small population which may be in decline owing to the clearance of its habitat for timber and agriculture. However, further information is required on habitat trends and population structure.

Taxonomic source(s)
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.

Distribution and population
Bubo shelleyi is a large, rare forest owl known from scattered locations from Sierra Leone to northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (Borrow and Demey 2001). It is known from the following sites: Gola (Sierra Leone); Lofa-Mano, Mt Nimba, Zwedru, Balagizi Mts (Liberia); Taï, Mt Nimba (contiguous with Mt Nimba in Liberia) (Côte d'Ivoire); Ghana (two old records only; Grimes 1987); 'south' Cameroon (Borrow and Demey 2001); Ipassa Strict Nature Reserve (Gabon); Dimonika Biosphere Reserve (Congo); Okapi Faunal Reserve (DRC). B. shelleyi is the largest African forest owl, and may thus require large areas of good quality habitat and thus have a small population, possibly below 10,000 individuals.

Population justification
This species may require large areas of good quality habitat and thus have a small population, possibly below 10,000 individuals. It is placed in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals, equating to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be declining owing to high rates of forest clearance within parts of its range.

Ecology
It is one of the most poorly known owls in Africa, and its ecology and behaviour are largely unknown (Koenig 1999); it has been recorded from inside forest, on forest edge and in clearings, in lowland areas (del Hoyo et al. 1999; Fry et al. 1988). Its full range of vocalisations have not been documented (Chappuis 2000), which is probably a factor in the paucity of records. It has been observed eating a large flying squirrel, and its large size and powerful feet suggest a diet of medium-sized to large prey (Fry et al. 1988). A captive bird required c.110 g of flesh per day (Fry et al. 1988). The timing of breeding is not clear; although intense calling has been noted in March, nestlings have been seen in September-November and fledged juveniles have been observed, or possibly observed, in December (del Hoyo et al. 1999; Fry et al. 1988).

Threats
The Upper Guinea forests are being cleared at a very high rate and the forests of Cameroon and much of Central Africa are also likely to suffer reductions in area and quality over the next few decades.

Conservation Actions Underway
It is known from several protected areas. However, no targeted conservation action is known for this species. Conservation Actions Proposed
Encourage the recording of as much information as possible from sightings, including habitat type, prey and relative abundance compared to other areas or preceding years (H. Rainey in litt. 2007). Carry out research into the species's ecology and behaviour, and record its vocalisations. Once a range of vocalisations have been recorded, conduct extensive surveys for the species. Monitor the clearance and degradation of lowland forests within the species's range. Increase the area of suitable habitat covered by protected areas.

References
Borrow, N.; Demey, R. 2001. Birds of western Africa. Christopher Helm, London.

Chappuis, C. 2000. Société d'Etudes Ornithologique de France, Paris, France.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1999. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 5: Barn-owls to Hummingbirds. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Fry, C. H.; Keith, S.; Urban, E. K. 1988. The birds of Africa vol III. Academic Press, London.

Grimes, L. G. 1987. The birds of Ghana. British Ornithologists' Union, London.

Koenig, S. E. 1999. The reproductive biology of Jamaica's Black-billed Parrot Amazona agilis and conservation implications. Dissertation. Ph.D., School of Forestry and Environmental Studies of Yale University.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Contributors
Rainey, H.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Bubo shelleyi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/08/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/08/2014.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Strigidae (Typical Owls)
Species name author (Sharpe & Ussher, 1872)
Population size 1500-7000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 231,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change