This discussion was first published as part of the 2010 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2013.
Lesser Masked-owl Tyto sororcula is currently treated as Data Deficient because most records are from the 19th or early 20th century and the only recent records constitute a bird photographed on Seram and one observed on Yamdena, there is no information on numbers, and although it is described as “apparently rare”, it is probably often overlooked and consequently almost certainly more widespread and numerous than available records suggest.
However, it occurs in primary and selectively-logged lowland evergreen forest, a habitat that is being rapidly cleared from islands within its range by loggers and shifting cultivators. Most forest in the coastal lowlands of Buru has now been cleared, and habitat in the northern portion of the island has been selectively logged, degraded and fragmented by shifting agriculture, such that only a few small patches of primary lowland forest remain. The situation is similar in the lowlands of Seram. Forest on Larat may have been seriously degraded by the outset of the twentieth century, and although much forest remains on Yamdena, it is highly accessible, partitioned into logging concessions and cannot be expected to persist. Consequently, it is imperative that we collate any recent records of this species, and given the rate of habitat loss within its range it seems prudent to reclassify the species as Vulnerable under criterion A2 owing to suspected rapid population declines in excess of 30% over the past three generations (18 years based on a generation length of 6.1 years; BirdLife International unpublished data).
Comments on the species’s current status are welcomed.
(This discussion was first started as part of the 2010 Red List update)
The following document was submitted in reaction to this topic by Burung Indonesia on 1 February 2011:
- Archived 2010-2011 topics: Pale-throated Wren-babbler (Spelaeornis kinneari): uplist to Vulnerable?
- Archived 2010-2011 topics: Sula Megapode (Megapodius bernsteinii): uplist to Vulnerable or Endangered?
- Archived 2011-2012 topics: Purple-naped Lory (Lorius domicella): uplist to Endangered?
- Black-throated Babbler (Stachyris nigricollis) and Fluffy-backed Tit-babbler (Macronous ptilosus): downlist both to Least Concern?
- Archived 2010-2011 topics: Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni): downlist to Near Threatened or Least Concern?