This species's known range is extremely small and it would qualify as Critically Endangered if it were not currently known from five locations. Habitat is declining rapidly at one site and, to a lesser extent, at the other. It therefore qualifies as Endangered, but remains poorly known, and further records or research may lead to reassessment of its status.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.html.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Distribution and populationXenoglaux loweryi
13-14 cm. Tiny, short-tailed owl, without occipital face. Long whiskers at bill base and face sides. Warm brown plumage, vermiculated darker. Prominent yellowish-white eyebrows. Bare tarsi and toes. Voice Single deep, husky almost disyllabic woh, one per 3 seconds.
was discovered in 1976, and is known from three localities on isolated ridges in the eastern Andes of Amazonas and San Martín, north Peru
(O'Neill and Graves 1977, Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990, Cardiff and Remsen 1995). It was discovered in the Garcia area north-east of Abra Patricia, San Martín, and was subsequently collected east of Bagua, Amazonas, in the Cordillera de Colán (O'Neill and Graves 1977, Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990)
. In total, five specimens have been collected (O'Neill and Graves 1977, J. Hornbuckle in litt.
. In 2002, the territorial call was confirmed and recorded at the type-locality in the Abra Patricia area (D. Lane in litt.
2003, 2007). In 2007 it was seen in the wild for the first time, at Abra Patricia, when birds were seen three times in daylight hours, and an individual was also captured in a mist-net
(Anon. 2007). Acquisition of the recording has allowed more thorough searches to take place (D. Lane in litt.
2003, 2007), and one bird was seen at the Lechucita Bigotona Lodge, Abra Patricia, in 2008 in response to playback of the Lane recording (F. Lambert in litt
. 2008). In January the 2010, one bird was observed and at least five heard in a primate reserve near the village of La Esperanza some 15 km west of Abra Patricia (S. Alterman, N. Shanee and E. Fonseca in litt.
2010), a site at which it has been recorded several times since.
Two further sites have been
located since then, both in Amazonas: the Hierba Buena-Allpayacu Private Conservation Area near Corosha, and a location near the town of Yambrasbamba (F. Angulo Pratolongo in litt.
2012). It appears to be both difficult to catch and reluctant to respond to playback, but may prove to be more widespread if methods for locating the species can be improved (D. Lane in litt.
2003, 2007). Population justification
The population is assumed to be very small, based on a paucity of records since its discovery in 1976, within its extremely small range. It is placed in the band 250-999 mature individuals here, equivalent to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 28.7-43.9% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (16 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al.
2006, Bird et al.
2011). It is therefore suspected to decline by a rate approaching 30% over three generations.Ecology
It apparently inhabits the understorey and mid-storey of very wet elfin forest and tall forest at 1,890-2,400 m (but potentially heard down to 1,800 m), with abundant epiphytes, bamboo thickets and scattered palms and tree ferns (O'Neill and Graves 1977, Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990, Cardiff and Remsen 1995, D. Lane in litt.
2003, 2007, Schulenberg et al.
. If local reports of the species in elfin forest at Wichim are confirmed, it also occurs below 1,200 m. It is conjectured that the species could be almost flightless (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990).Threats
Remaining areas of suitable habitat are being cleared for timber, agriculture and to secure ownership of the land, gradually around Abra Patricia, but more rapidly in the Cordillera de Colán, where locals had estimated in 1994 that all the forest on the Cordillera de Colán could be cleared by 2004
(Davies et al.
, Dillon and Sánchez Vega 1999, J. Hornbuckle in litt.
. More recent surveys have confirmed that habitat destruction in the region continues unabated
(Dillon and Sánchez Vega 1999). Abra Patricia is under pressure owing to road improvements and recent immigration and population growth in the area (G. Engblom in litt.
1998, Hornbuckle 1999, J. Hornbuckle in litt.
. Mining activities around Yambrasbamba also contribute to habitat destruction, both directly and by opening new roads that facilitate colonisation (F. Angulo Pratolongo in litt.
2012). Conservation actions underway
CITES Appendix II. It is considered endangered by Peruvian law (F. Angulo Pratolongo in litt.
2012). It occurs in the Alto Mayo Protected Forest, San Martín, but it is unclear whether the high-elevation forests are protected under this designation (Dillon and Sánchez Vega 1999, Hornbuckle 1999, J. Hornbuckle in litt.
1999, F. Angulo Pratolongo in litt.
2012). In any case, the protected status appears to have had little or no effect on the rate of deforestation (Dillon and Sánchez Vega 1999). Recent records come from the Area de Conservación Privada de Abra Patricia-Alto Nieva, a recently protected private conservation area
(Anon. 2007), and the Hierba Buena-Allpayacu Private Conservation Area near Corosha (F. Angulo Pratolongo in litt.
2012).Conservation actions proposed
Survey suitable habitat on each of the isolated ridges in the region. Follow up local reports of the species from Wichim, Cordillera de Colán, using playback surveys. Effectively protect the Alto Mayo Protected Forest, and ensure that high-elevation forest is included within its boundaries (Dillon and Sánchez Vega 1999, Hornbuckle 1999, J. Hornbuckle in litt.
1999). Establish a protected area in the Cordillera de Colán, and search for the species on its eastern side (Davies et al.
1997, F. Angulo Pratolongo in litt.
O'Neill, J. P.; Graves, G. R. 1977. A new genus and species of owl (Aves: Strigidae) from Peru. The Auk 94: 409-416.
Fjeldså, J.; Krabbe, N. 1990. Birds of the high Andes. Apollo Books, Copenhagen.
Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.
Cardiff, S. W.; Remsen, J. V. 1994. Type specimens of birds in the Museum of Natural Science, Louisiana State University. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural Science, Louisiana State University 68: 1-32.
Davies, C. W. N.; Barnes, R.; Butchart, S. H. M.; Fernandez, M.; Seddon, N. 1997. The conservation status of birds on the Cordillera de Colán, Peru. Bird Conservation International 7: 181-195.
Hornbuckle, J. 1999. The birds of Abra Patricia and the upper río Mayo, San Martín, north Peru. Cotinga 12: 11-28.
Anon. 2007. Long-whiskered Owlet puts on a show. World Birdwatch 29(2): 5.
Sánchez Vega, I. and Dillon, M.O. 2000. Un nueva especie de Mikania (Eupatorieae: Asteraceae) de Piura, Perú. Arnaldoa 7(1-2): 1-12.
Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.
Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)
Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.
Hear sounds for this species from xeno-canto, the community database of shared bird sounds from around the world.
Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoa y la categora de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicacin.
View photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Isherwood, I., Khwaja, N., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A.
Angulo Pratolongo, F., Engblom, G., Hornbuckle, J., Lane, D.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2013) Species factsheet: Xenoglaux loweryi. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2013.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2013) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2013.
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.
Additional resources for this species