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Wallace's Owlet-nightjar Aegotheles wallacii
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is known from few specimens and very few recent observations. There is no information on its precise distribution extent, population size, trends or threats, although it may be threatened by logging, clearance for agriculture and introduced mammalian predators. For these reasons, it is classified as Data Deficient.

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.

Taxonomic note

Distribution and population
Aegotheles wallacii is known only from New Guinea (Papua, formerly Irian Jaya, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea). It has been recorded from the Aru islands and Vogelkop in the far west across to Karimui in central Papua New Guinea. It is known from few specimens and very few recent observations; the paucity of records largely results from the extremely unobtrusive nature of the genus, and its call is poorly known (Coates 1985, Beehler et al. 1986, Cleere and Nurney 1998). As a result its status cannot be assessed from the current data.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as local and rare throughout New Guinea (Cleere 1998).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

It is a hill-forest species which has been recorded below 1,540 m.

Although it has an extensive range, some of the forest is threatened by logging and clearance for agriculture. Owlet-nightjars are hole-nesters which have suffered elsewhere from introduced mammalian predators (Brigham and Geiser 1997).

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Clarify details of its vocalisations and use to carry out surveys in hill forest within its potential range.

Beehler, B. M.; Pratt, T. K.; Zimmerman, D. A. 1986. Birds of New Guinea. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Brigham, R. M.; Geiser, F. 1997. Breeding biology of Australian Owlet-nightjars Aegotheles cristatus in Eucalypt woodland. Emu 97: 316-321.

Cleere, N.; Nurney, D. 1998. Nightjars: a guide to nightjars and related nightbirds. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, U.K.

Coates, B. J. 1985. The birds of Papua New Guinea, 1: non-passerines. Dove, Alderley, Australia.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Symes, A.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Aegotheles wallacii. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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 Data Deficient
Family Aegothelidae (Owlet-nightjars)
Species name author Gray, 1859
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 40,100 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species