Brown Boobook Ninox scutulata


Justification of Red List Category
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). Although the population is likely to be decreasing, the rate of decline is suspected to be <20%, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to 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.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be uncommon on Borneo and Sumatra, rare on Java, locally fairly common in the north Indian subcontinent, and relatively common in southeast Asia (Olsen et al. 2020).

Trend justification
Although the species utilises artificial habitats in close proximity to human habitation in the west of its range, it exclusively uses primary forest away from human habitation in southeast Asia, making it vulnerable to habitat loss through deforestation (König and Weick 2008). During 2001-2020, 19% of forest cover was lost across this species’s range (Global Forest Watch 2021), equating to a loss of 14.2% over three generations (13.68 years [Bird et al. 2020]). During 2016-2020, 6.7% of forest cover was lost (Global Forest Watch 2021), equivalent to 21.1% when projected forward over three generations. Given its ability to use modified habitats in at least some of its range, and in the absence of any other known threats, the global population is suspected to be declining at a rate of <20% over three generations.


In the west of its range, uses forest and well-wooded areas with tall trees, often close to human habitation. In southeast Asia, it occurs exclusively in primary lowland rainforest away from human habitation (König and Weick 2008).


The species is threatened by removal of primary rainforest habitat, particularly in Sumatra, Borneo and Java (König and Weick 2008).

Conservation actions

Conservation actions underway
CITES Appendix II, Raptor MOU Category 2. 

Conservation actions needed
Research is needed to more accurately estimate population size and trends for this species, as well as to identify any additional threats.


Text account compilers
Haskell, L.

Butchart, S., Symes, A., Ashpole, J, Taylor, J. & Ekstrom, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Ninox scutulata. Downloaded from on 30/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 30/03/2023.