Megascops barbarus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Strigiformes Strigidae

Scientific Name: Megascops barbarus (Sclater & Salvin, 1868)
Common Name(s):
English Bearded Screech-owl, Bearded Screech Owl, Bearded Screech-Owl, Santa Barbara Screech-Owl
Spanish Autillo Barbudo, Tecolote Barbudo
Otus barbarus (Sclater & Salvin, 1868) — Collar et al. (1994)
Otus barbarus (Sclater & Salvin, 1868) — BirdLife International (2000)
Otus barbarus (Sclater & Salvin, 1868) — BirdLife International (2004)
Otus barbarus (Sclater & Salvin, 1868) — Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Otus barbarus (Sclater & Salvin, 1868) — Stotz et al. (1996)
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. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Bubb, P., Eisermann, K. & Enríquez, P.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Capper, D., Sharpe, C.J., Taylor, J., Ashpole, J
This species has been uplisted to Vulnerable because its range (extent of occurrence - EOO) has been more accurately calculated using new field data (K. Eisermann in litt. 2011); the bird is now known to have a small (9,780 km2) range, within which its pine-oak montane forest habitat is rapidly disappearing (Cayuela et al. 2006). As a consequence, its EOO, area of occupancy (AOO) and quality of habitat are inferred to be declining, and its habitat is now highly fragmented (K. Eisermann in litt. 2011). It is thus considered Vulnerable.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the highlands of Chiapas, south-east Mexico, and west Guatemala (Howell and Webb 1995a, del Hoyo et al. 1999, Eisermann and Avendaño 2015). In Chiapas, the total mean number of the species detected per linear trail was 1.65±0.61 individuals/km in nine locations (P. Enríquez in litt. 2016).

Countries occurrence:
Guatemala; Mexico
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:18400
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):YesExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):1800
Upper elevation limit (metres):2500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Partners in Flight estimated the population to number fewer than 50,000 individuals (A. Panjabi in litt. 2008), thus it is placed in the band 20,000-49,999 individuals here.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction. Montane forests in Chiapas have been reduced to less than 25% of their original area with an annual deforestation rate of at least 2.7% over the last 30 years (Cayuela et al. 2006).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:Yes
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found in montane evergreen and humid pine-oak forest at elevations of 1,800-2,500 m (Howell and Webb 1995a). In Guatemala it also occurs in ten year old pine plantations (K. Eisermann in litt. 2011). In Chiapas the species is most often  found in moist pine-oak and cloud forests, with fewer records from moist oak forest and pine forests (Enríquez 2007). Its diet consists mainly of large insects, particularly beetles, which are captured in the understorey by a sit-and-wait strategy (Enríquez and Cheng 2008). Breeding likely takes place between March and June (Enríquez and Cheng 2008, Enríquez 2011). In Guatemala the breeding season runs from March to May (K. Eisermann in litt. 2016). The only known nest was found in June 2001 2.45 m above ground in a natural cavity of a large living oak Quercus laurina; inside was an adult red-morph female brooding a single grey-morph nestling estimated to be 3 weeks old (Enríquez and Cheng 2008). Birds moult in the rainy season, from July to October (Enríquez and Cheng 2008). In the highlands of Chiapas the species has an estimated home range of c.20 ha for females and c. 23 ha for males (Enríquez 2007).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):7
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Pine-oak forest is disappearing rapidly through logging for firewood and charcoal, agricultural expansion, urbanization and bark-beetle epidemics that are exacerbated by habitat degradation (Stattersfield et al. 1998, Ochoa-Gaona and González-Espinosa 2000). Civil war in Chiapas, Mexico, accelerated deforestation (P. J. Bubb in litt. 1997).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. The PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Programme has been studying the species's breeding biology, demography and habitat use in the Guatemalan highlands since 2010 (K. Eisermann in litt. 2016). The species is included on the 'Watch List' of the State of North America's Birds as a species of high conservation concern (NABCI 2016).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to assess the species's population size. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation. Study the species's ecology (del Hoyo et al. 1999). Protect suitable habitat. Future research should focus on the breeding ecology, life history strategies, demography, and population trends to evaluate the conservation status of this species; this work will be essential for a better understanding of how habitat degradation may be
affecting this species’ survival (Enríquez & Cheng 2008). Provide nest boxes (P. Enríquez in litt. 2016).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Megascops barbarus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22688807A93209061. . Downloaded on 22 June 2018.
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