Archived 2014 discussion: Moluccan Scops-owl (Otus magicus) is being split: list O. tempestatis as Vulnerable?

This is part of a consultation on the Red List implications of extensive changes to BirdLife’s taxonomy for non-passerines

Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International will soon publish the HBW-BirdLife Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, building off the Handbook of the Birds of the World series, and BirdLife’s annually updated taxonomic checklist.

The new Checklist will be based on the application of criteria for recognising species limits described by Tobias et al. (2010). Full details of the specific scores and the basis of these for each new taxonomic revision will be provided in the Checklist.

Following publication, an open and transparent mechanism will be established to allow people to comment on the taxonomic revisions or suggest new ones, and provide new information of relevance in order to inform regular updates. We are also actively seeking input via a discussion topic here regarding some potential taxonomic revisions that currently lack sufficient information.

The new Checklist will form the taxonomic basis of BirdLife’s assessments of the status of the world’s birds for the IUCN Red List. The taxonomic changes that will appear in volume 1 of the checklist (for non-passerines) will begin to be incorporated into the 2014 Red List update, with the remainder, and those for passerines (which will appear in volume 2 of the checklist), to be incorporated into subsequent Red List updates.

Preliminary Red List assessments have been carried out for the newly split or lumped taxa. We are now requesting comments and feedback on these preliminary assessments.

Moluccan Scops-owl Otus magicus is being split into O. magicus and O. tempestatis, following the application of criteria set out by Tobias et al. (2010).

Prior to this taxonomic change, O. magicus (BirdLife species factsheet) was listed as being of Least Concern, on the basis that it was not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN Red List criteria.

O. tempestatis is endemic to the island of Wetar, Indonesia, where it probably inhabits primary and secondary forest, plantations and swampy areas with bushes and trees (König and Weick 2008). It is suggested that the species be listed as Vulnerable under criterion C2a(ii), on the basis that it probably has a small population, likely to include fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, all in a single subpopulation, which is projected to undergo a continuing decline owing to future habitat loss caused by expected increases in mining activities, agricultural expansion, illegal logging and road construction (C. Trainor in litt. 2008, Trainor et al. 2009a,b).

O. magicus (as defined following the taxonomic change) is fairly widespread in the Moluccas and Lesser Sundas, Indonesia, where it inhabits a variety of lowland and coastal zone habitats, including primary and secondary forest, swamp forest, mangroves, plantations and wooded areas near cultivation and human settlements (König and Weick 2008). It is likely to be listed as being of Least Concern, on the basis that it is not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN criteria.

References:

König, C. and Weick, F. (2008) Owls of the world. Second edition. London, UK: Christopher Helm.

Tobias, J. A., Seddon, N., Spottiswoode, C. N., Pilgrim, J. D., Fishpool, L. D. C. and Collar, N. J. (2010) Quantitative criteria for species delimitation. Ibis 152: 724–746.

Trainor, C. R., Imanuddin, Aldy, F. and Walker, J. S. (2009a) The status and conservation of the Endangered Wetar Ground-dove (Gallicolumba hoedtii) and other wildlife on Wetar Island, Indonesia, 2008: final technical report.

Trainor, C. R., Imanuddin, Aldy, F., Verbelen, P. and Walker, J. S. (2009b) The birds of Wetar, Banda Sea: one of Indonesia’s forgotten islands. BirdingASIA 12: 79–83.

Related posts:

  1. Archived 2014 discussion: Oriental Bay-owl (Phodilus badius) is being split: list both P. badius and P. assimilis as Near Threatened?
  2. Archived 2014 discussion: Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) is being split: list T. rosenbergii as Vulnerable and both T. weberi and T. forsteni as Near Threatened?
  3. Archived 2011-2012 topics: Taxonomic changes in the genus Melanitta, part I: suggestion to list M. nigra as Vulnerable and request for information on M. americana
  4. Archived 2014 discussion: Blue-banded Kingfisher (Alcedo euryzona) is being split: list A. euryzona as Critically Endangered and A. peninsulae as Vulnerable?
  5. Archived 2014 discussion: Blue-rumped Parrot (Psittinus cyanurus) is being split: list P. abbotti as Vulnerable and P. cyanurus as Near Threatened?
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3 Responses to Archived 2014 discussion: Moluccan Scops-owl (Otus magicus) is being split: list O. tempestatis as Vulnerable?

  1. Colin Trainor says:

    I don’t think its Vulnerable or Near threatened. There are threats to habitat on the island, but this is only likely to affect less than 5% of the island, and much less than this over the next 5-10 years . It has been noted by locals about villages/mine, so presumably like many taxa in the complex, is tolerant of changes from forest, to modified woodland [still treed] of some sort

  2. Joe Taylor says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information and comments posted above, our preliminary proposals for the 2014 Red List would be to treat:

    O. magicus as Least Concern

    O. tempestatis as Least Concern

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 31 March, after which recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    The final Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in mid-2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  3. Andy Symes says:

    Recommended categorisations to be put forward to IUCN

    Following further review, there have been no changes to our preliminary proposals for the 2014 Red List status of these species.

    The final categorisations will be published later in 2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by BirdLife and IUCN.

Comments are closed.