Camiguin Boobook Ninox leventisi


Justification of Red List category
Although with a currently stable population trend, this species has a very small population. For this reason it is assessed as Vulnerable.

Population justification
This species is confined to a single island (Camiguin) of 253 km2, with a maximum area of forest of c.70 km2 in 2020 (Global Forest Watch 2021, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein). It is described as occurring in remaining broadleaf forest, having "presumably [occurred] throughout prior to clearances" (Allen 2020).
Using satellite tracking data, Jakosalem et al. (2013) estimated densities as high as 20 mature individuals/km2 for the formerly conspecific and similar-sized N. rumseyi of Cebu, equivalent to a maximum of only 1,400 mature individuals if applied to this species at 100% occupancy. However, this density was based on home ranges from satellite-tracking data that the authors acknowledged were likely to be too small due to the short time the birds were followed for. The estimated home ranges were, for example, up to ten times smaller than that of another similar-sized Ninox species (Olsen et al. 2011). Anecdotal evidence suggests that N. leventisi occurs at densities much lower than that of N. rumseyi (R. Hutshinson pers. comm. 2022). Moreover, it is highly unlikely that 100% of suitable habitat is occupied given its apparent dependence on good forest. It is described as being scarce (Allen 2020) and there are a number of areas of suitable habitat it appears to be absent from (eBird 2021). Consequently, the true population size is considered likely to be lower than 1,400 mature individuals, potentially much so. Given these data and associated uncertainties, the population is estimated at 250-1,400 mature individuals, with a best estimate of 250-999.

Trend justification
Recent remote sensing data indicate that forest cover on Camiguin is now stable despite historic losses (Global Forest Watch 2021, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein). As a consequence, and in the absence of other known threats, the population is suspected to be stable.

Distribution and population

Ninox leventisi is endemic to the small island of Camiguin Sur off the north coast of Mindanao (Philippines). It is said to be confined to remnant forest on the island (Allen 2020), of which approximately 70 km2 remains, mostly in the centre of the island (Global Forest Watch 2021, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein).


It inhabits remaining broadleaf forest in the centre of the island (Allen 2020). Prior to the widespread clearance of forest from the island, the species was presumably more widespread.


Formerly, this species was threatened by forest loss driven by slash-and-burn agriculture, logging, urbanisation and increased tourism. Remaining forest however is stable in its extent according to remote sensing data (Global Forest Watch 2021, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein) although this should continue to be monitored given that the region's increasing population may drive further encroachment.

Conservation actions

Conservation and research actions underway
CITES Appendix II. No targeted actions are known for this species.

Conservation and research actions proposed
Study the species' ecology and life history. Protect remaining areas of forest. Continue to carefully analyse remote sensing data to monitor habitat loss.
Protect remaining areas of forest. Initiate local education campaigns.


Text account compilers
Berryman, A.

Butchart, S., Hutshinson, R. & Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Ninox leventisi. Downloaded from on 26/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/02/2024.