Megascops seductus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Megascops seductus
Species Authority: Moore, 1941
Common Name/s:
English Balsas Screech-owl, Balsas Screech Owl, Balsas Screech-Owl
Otus seductus Stotz et al. (1996)
Otus seductus BirdLife International (2004)
Taxonomic Notes: Otus kennicottii (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into O. kennicottii, O. seductus and O. cooperi following AOU (1998) and moved to the genus Megascops following AOU (2003).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor/s: BirdLife International
Reviewer/s: Butchart, S.
Contributor/s: Navarro, A.
Facilitator/s: Benstead, P., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Taylor, J.
This species is classed as Near Threatened because it has a moderately small range, in which it is threatened by habitat loss. A re-assessment of the threats to the species's habitats may result in it being downlisted to Least Concern.

2012 Near Threatened

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Megascops seductus has a moderately small range in west-central Mexico, where it is a fairly common resident in Jalisco, Colima, Michoacán, Morelas and Guerrero (Howell and Webb 1995a, A. G. Navarro in litt. 1998). Significant areas of suitable habitat remain, and surveys are likely to find the species locally common at additional sites (A. G. Navarro in litt. 1998).

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. The population density in the Sierra de Huautla Biosphere Reserve was estimated to be 6.7 / km2 during the dry season, suggesting that this species is moderately common here (Alba-Zúñiga et al. 2009).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits thorn-forest and arid open to semi-open areas with scattered trees, as well as secondary growth, at elevations of 600-1,500 m (Howell and Webb 1995a, del Hoyo et al. 1999). In a study in Sierra de Huautla Biosphere Reserve, conserved dry forest was the preferred habitat, followed by thorn forest, disturbed forest and agricultural systems, with fewest records in Gliricidia-Caesalpina forest (Alba-Zúñiga et al. 2009). Its diet is little known, but insects and small vertebrates have been recorded (del Hoyo et al. 1999). Breeding has been noted in June (del Hoyo et al. 1999).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Available habitat appears to be in decline (del Hoyo et al. 1999). Agriculture is expanding in this species's range, especially for citrus plantations and cattle-ranching (Stattersfield et al. 1998).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. No other targeted conservation action is known for this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to assess the species's local abundance, distribution and total population size. Research population trends in various parts of its range (Alba-Zúñiga et al. 2009). Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation. Protect areas of suitable habitat. Study the species's ecology.

Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Megascops seductus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 21 April 2014.
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