Otus scops 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Strigiformes Strigidae

Scientific Name: Otus scops
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Eurasian Scops-owl, European Scops Owl, Eurasian Scops Owl
French Hibou Petit-duc
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.
Taxonomic Notes: Otus scops (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into O. senegalensis following Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993), O. sunia following AOU (1998), O. alius following Rassmussen (1998) and O. scops (with species limits accordingly revised).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2012-05-03
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J. & Ashpole, J
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (extent of occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2012 Least Concern (LC)
2009 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)
2000 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1994 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1988 Not Recognized (NR)

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Andorra; Armenia (Armenia); Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Belarus; Bulgaria; Cameroon; Chad; China; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Djibouti; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Ethiopia; France; Gambia; Georgia; Ghana; Gibraltar; Greece; Guinea; Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Lebanon; Liberia; Libya; Lithuania; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Mali; Malta; Mauritania; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Niger; Nigeria; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Somalia; South Sudan; Spain; Sudan; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; Uzbekistan; Western Sahara; Yemen
Belgium; Denmark; Faroe Islands; Germany; Iceland; Ireland; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Norway; Seychelles; Sweden; United Kingdom
Present - origin uncertain:
Benin; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Central African Republic; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Rwanda; Sierra Leone
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 8550000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 3000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The European population is estimated at 232,000-393,000 pairs, which equates to 463,000-785,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms approximately 57% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 812,000-1,380,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. It is placed in the band 800,000-1,400,000 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction. In Europe the population size trend is unknown (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 800000-1400000 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Declines in this species are most likely down to habitat changes and a reduction in insect populations (Holt et al. 1999), probably from the use of pesticides (König 2008). The spread of large-scale farming, modernisation of agricultural methods and the reduction in the number of hollow trees may have driven its extirpation from areas in France and Spain (Holt et al. 1999, König 2008). Urban developments may also lead to a loss of habitat (Martínez et al. 2007). In Switzerland, suitable habitat has been fragmented by spread of viniculture and agricultural intensification (Holt et al. 1999) and land abandonment leading to loss of grassland habitats favoured by the species is also a threat (Sergio et al. 2009). In Israel pesticide use reduced the population however increases have occurred since the 1970s (Holt et al. 1999). Locally, increases in predator populations, such as Tawny owls (Strix alucomay lead to decreases in this species (König 2008). Hunting, along migration routes in Italy and Malta, are also thought to impact the species (Tucker and Heath 1994).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Otus scops. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22688643A80484352. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
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