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Biak Scops-owl Otus beccarii
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There are very few records of this species, which is classified as Endangered on the basis of its very small range and apparent restriction to tall lowland forest, which is severely fragmented and declining. However, it may prove to be more common and widespread, which could justify its reclassification as Vulnerable.

Taxonomic source(s)
Holt, D. W.; Berkley, R.; Deppe, C.; Enriquez Rocha, P. L.; Olsen, P. D.; Petersen, J. L.; Rangel Salazar, J. L.; Segars, K. P.; Wood, K. L. 1999. Strigidae (typical owls). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (ed.), Handbook of the birds of the

Taxonomic note
Otus magicus (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into O. alfredi following Widodo et al. (1999), O. siaoensis following Lambert and Rasmussen (1998), O. enganensis following Andrew (1992), O. insularis and O. beccarii following Holt et al. (1999) and O. magicus (with species limits accordingly revised). O. beccarii was treated as a separate species in Collar and Andrew (1988), as a subspecies of O. magicus in Collar et al. (1994) and as a separate species in BirdLife International (2000) and subsequently.

25 cm. Tawny-brown owl with short, inconspicuous ear-tufts. Yellow eyes. Rather distinct, pale whitish eyebrows and facial disc. Densely barred brown upperparts with some white on scapulars. Brown or rich rufous underparts, probably colour morphs but possibly sex dimorphism, with very fine barring. Similar spp. The only owl on Biak-Supiori. Papuan Frogmouth Podargus papuensis and Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus have different habits and long tails. Voice Probably a harsh croak, rasping at close range but sounding more like a deer's bark at long range. Hints Calling birds can usually be stalked and seen in the beam of a torch.

Distribution and population
Otus beccarii is endemic to the twin islands of Biak-Supiori in Geelvink Bay, Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), Indonesia (Mayr and Meyer de Schauensee 1939, Marshall 1978, Konig et al. 1999, Marks et al. 1999). Its status is unclear, as it is a nocturnal species with poorly-known calls and only recently considered to be a separate species. A survey of the island in 1973 found only one pair (S. D. Ripley in litt. to Clark and Mikkola 1989), it was not recorded during three visits to Biak in the 1990s (Gibbs 1993, Poulsen and Frolander 1994, Eastwood 1996b). One was heard in and around Biak-Utara Reserve in 1997 (B. Beehler and S. van Balen in litt. 2000) and two were heard one morning in 1995 (M. Van Beirs in litt. 2000). However, more recently, visiting birders claim to have encountered the species regularly in remnant forest patches in southern Biak (K. D. Bishop in litt. 2012).

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
The widespread loss of forest on the island of Biak suggests that the species has declined, but parts of Supiori are virtually impenetrable and as such may provide a refuge. Based on this information, the population is suspected to be declining at a moderate rate.

It inhabits forest, including partially logged forest, up to at least 300 m (Bishop 1982, Marks et al. 1999, B. Beehler and S. van Balen in litt. 2000, M. Van Beirs in litt. 2000), and can be found in coastal swamp-forest bounded by heavily forested limestone cliffs (Marshall 1978). It may be poorly tolerant of habitat degradation, as there have been no records from heavily logged or degraded forest.

Large areas of forest on Biak have been destroyed or damaged by logging and subsistence farming, particularly in the southern plains, and the remainder is under pressure (Bishop 1982, K. D. Bishop in litt. 1996, D. Holmes in litt. 2000). Furthermore, forest does not regenerate easily on areas of raised coralline limestone. Much of Supiori comprises virtually impenetrable, forested limestone mountains, which is likely to be safe from habitat degradation.

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. There are two protected areas on the islands, Biak-Utara (110 km2) and Pulau Supiori (420 km2) Nature Reserves (Sujatnika et al. 1995). Conservation Actions Proposed
Identify and record the species's vocalisations to aid detection. Conduct surveys on both Biak and Supiori, using tape-playback of vocalisations, to establish its current distribution, population status and assess its habitat requirements. Investigate further its taxonomic status and relationship to other Otus species. Afford formal protection to key sites supporting the species, as appropriate.

Bishop, K. D. 1982. Endemic birds of Biak Island.

Eastwood, C. 1996. A trip to Irian Jaya. Muruk 8(1): 12-23.

Gibbs, D. 1993. Irian Jaya, Indonesia, 21 January--12 March 1991: a site guide for birdwatchers, with brief notes from 1992.

König, C.; Weick, F.; Becking, J.-H. 1999. Owls: a guide to the owls of the world. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, U.K.

Marks, J. S.; Cannings, R. J.; Mikkola, H. 1999. Family Strigidae (Typical Owls). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (ed.), Handbook of the birds of the world, pp. 76-242. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Marshall, J. T. 1978. Systematics of smaller Asian night birds based on voice. American Ornithologists' Union, Kansas.

Mayr, E.; Meyer de Schauensee, R. 1939. Zoological results of the Denison-Crockett Expedition to the south Pacific for the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1937-1938. Part 1: the birds of the Island of Biak. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 91: 1-37.

Poulsen, B. O.; Frolander, A. 1994. Birding Irian Jaya, Indonesian New Guinea.

Sujatnika; Jepson, P.; Soehartono, T. R.; Crosby, M. J.; Mardiastuti, A. 1995. Conserving Indonesian biodiversity: the Endemic Bird Area approach. BirdLife International Indonesia Programme, Bogor.

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

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Dutson, G., Taylor, J., Allinson, T

Bishop, K., Holmes, D., Ripley, S., van Balen, B., van Beirs, M.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Otus beccarii. Downloaded from on 23/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/07/2014.

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 Endangered
Family Strigidae (Owls)
Species name author (Salvadori, 1876)
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 2,500 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species