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Least Boobook Ninox sumbaensis
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This poorly known species is listed as Near Threatened because it is thought to have a moderately small population which has almost certainly declined through forest clearance within its range. Further research is a priority for improving this assessment of its status.

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.
Olsen, J.; Wink, M.; Sauer-Gürth; Trost, S. 2002. A new Ninox owl from Sumba, Indonesia. Emu 102: 223-231.

Taxonomic note
Described as new to science by Olsen et al. (2002).

Distribution and population
Ninox sumbaensis was formally described only recently, although the taxon has been known to ornithologists since the late 1980s (Olsen et al. 2002). It is currently very poorly known and has only been recorded from three localities on Sumba, Indonesia (Linsley et al. 1998, Olsen et al. 2002, Benstead and Benstead in prep.).

Population justification
This species is very poorly known but it is thought to be uncommon given that it escaped detection for many years and there are few records available. It is placed in the band 10,000-19,999 mature individuals, equating to 15,000-29,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 15,000-30,000 individuals. This preliminary population estimate requires clarification.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to on-going habitat destruction.

It appears to be limited to small patches of primary, disturbed primary, secondary and degraded forest at 600-950 m on Sumba. Young offspring have been observed in November (Olsen et al. 2009).

It is undoubtedly at some risk from on-going habitat loss owing to logging and agricultural expansion.

Conservation Actions Underway
None are known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey work is required to ascertain the distribution and status of this poorly known owl. As a precaution, protect significant areas of suitable forest, in both strictly protected areas and community-led multiple use areas.

Benstead, P.J.; Benstead, M.C. submitted. Some interesting bird records from the Lesser Sundas. Kukila.

Linsley, M. D.; Jones, M. J.; Marsden, S. J. 1998. A review of the Sumba avifauna. Kukila 10: 60-90.

Olsen, J.; Trost, S.; Myers, S. D. 2009. Owls on the island of Sumba, Indonesia. Australian Field Ornithology 26(1-2): 2-14.

Olsen, J.; Wink, M.; Sauer-Gürth; Trost, S. 2002. A new Ninox owl from Sumba, Indonesia. Emu 102: 223-231.

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
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Khwaja, N., Taylor, J.

Benstead, P., Crosby, M.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Ninox sumbaensis. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

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 Near Threatened
Family Strigidae (Typical Owls)
Species name author Olsen, Wink, Sauer-Gurth & Trost, 2002
Population size 10000-19999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 2,900 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species