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Heinrich's Nightjar Eurostopodus diabolicus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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Although recent records suggest that this species may be widespread and overlooked rather than rare, and that it tolerates habitat disturbance, it is precautionarily treated as Vulnerable because it is thought to have a small population, which is in decline owing to forest loss and degradation. Fieldwork is required to clarify its status, and this may lead to its downlisting.

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.

26-27 cm. Medium-sized, dark nightjar. Greyish-brown upperparts, spotted and speckled brown, buff and tawny. Blackish streaks on crown, continuous with mantle. Brown underparts, barred and spotted cinnamon and pale buff. White band on throat but no white visible in wings or tail. Female has buff band on throat. Similar spp. Great-eared Nightjar E. macrotis is much larger and paler, with longer ear-tufts and pale nuchal collar. Female Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus indicus, female Savanna Nightjar C. affinis and juvenile Sulawesi Nightjar C. celebensis are similar, but smaller and paler. Voice Little known, but flight calls may include weak screams, loud whirrip notes and soft churrs.

Distribution and population
Eurostopodus diabolicus is endemic to Sulawesi, Indonesia, where it is known from mountain ranges in the north and centre of the island (Riley and Wardill 2003), with unconfirmed records from the south (BirdLife International 2001) and a probable sighting in July 1996 and additional reports from 1995 from the adjacent island of Buton (Sykes 2009). Although it appears to be very thinly distributed and genuinely rare overall, it is locally not uncommon, and its nocturnal habits and associated difficulties in identification have probably led to it being overlooked. The extensive and largely unsurveyed upland areas of Sulawesi, covered by undisturbed or lightly disturbed forest, imply that the species could be more widespread than currently known (K. D. Bishop in litt. 2012). It must have suffered from loss of habitat at lower altitudes, although its ability to utilise secondary habitats (Riley and Wardill 2003) and its recent discovery in montane forest suggests that it may be locally secure.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
Logging and rattan collection at the most well known site are degrading habitat. This practice is likely to be prevalent throughout its range and as a result the species is suspected to be declining at a moderate rate.

It inhabits tropical lowland and lower montane, evergreen rainforest, from 250 m to 1,750 m, tolerating at least selective logging. It is presumed to be sedentary. It has been found incubating in June and July (Boon and Faustino 2005).

The primary threat to this poorly known species is presumably forest loss and fragmentation at lower altitudes. This has been extensive in the Minahasa peninsula of north Sulawesi, owing to land clearance for transmigration settlements, shifting cultivation, plantation agriculture and large-scale logging. Logging and rattan collection are reportedly common at the best known site for this species, the Anaso road, Lore Lindu National Park (Boon and Faustino 2005). However, much forest remains in hilly and mountainous regions, which is currently relatively secure.

Conservation Actions Underway
It has been recorded in one protected area, Lore Lindu National Park, where most recent confirmed observations have been made, and also in Gunung Klabat Proposed Wildlife Reserve. In addition, there are unconfirmed reports from Tangkoko-Batuangus and Panua Nature Reserves. Conservation Actions Proposed
Obtain recordings of its vocalisations and use these to facilitate further searches for the species, including in south-east Sulawesi and on Buton (Sykes 2009). Conduct extensive surveys to establish its distribution, status, ecological requirements and main threats. Propose further forested areas supporting populations of this, and other threatened species endemic to Sulawesi, for protection.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Boon, L.; Faustino, A. 2005. A second nest of Heinrich's Nightjar. BirdingASIA: 58-59.

Riley, J.; Wardill, J. C. 2003. The status, habitat and nest of the Satanic Nightjar Eurostopodus diabolicus. Kukila 12: 3-11.

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

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

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Davidson, P., Mahood, S., Taylor, J., Tobias, J.

Bishop, K., Collar, N., Hogberg, S.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Eurostopodus diabolicus. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Sulawesi eared-nightjar (Eurostopodus diabolicus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Caprimulgidae (Nightjars)
Species name author Stresemann, 1931
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 2,400 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species