Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Strigiformes Strigidae

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 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 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: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2014-07-24
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Navarro, A. & Valdez Gómez, H.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A. & Taylor, J.
This species has been downlisted from Near Threatened because its range is larger than previously estimated, although its population, which may be moderately small to large, is nevertheless suspected to be in slow to moderate decline owing to on-going habitat loss and degradation. It is listed as Least Concern on the basis that it is not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the Red List criteria.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2013 Near Threatened (NT)
2012 Near Threatened (NT)
2008 Near Threatened (NT)
2004 Near Threatened (NT)
2000 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1994 Not Recognized (NR)
1988 Not Recognized (NR)

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).

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 90700
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): 1200
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 for 20,000-49,999 individuals. This is assumed to equate to c.13,300-32,700 mature 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 there (Alba-Zúñiga et al. 2009).

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be in slow to moderate decline owing to on-going habitat loss and degradation. The rate of decline is not thought to be more rapid because the species shows some tolerance of secondary habitats and modified areas.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 13300-32700 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
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]

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

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. Although some recent studies have collected data on this species (e.g. Alba-Zúñiga et al. 2009, Nova-Muñoz et al. 2011), further research and conservation actions are hindered by the current security situation in this region of Mexico (H. E. Valdez Gómez in litt. 2013).

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. 2014. Megascops seductus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T22724664A61654782. . Downloaded on 04 October 2015.
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