Laughing Owl Sceloglaux albifacies


Justification of Red List Category
This species was found in New Zealand, but it is now Extinct, probably as a result of habitat conversion. The last confirmed record was of the nominate subspecies, in 1914.

Population justification
No extant population remains.

Distribution and population

Sceloglaux albifacies was endemic to New Zealand with the nominate race on the South and Stewart Islands (with bones known from the Chatham Islands) and the subspecies rufifacies on the North Island. Birds were not uncommon until the first half of the 19th century, but were becoming rare by the 1840s. The last specimens of rufifacies were collected in 1889, with unconfirmed reports until the 1930s, and of albifacies, in 1914, with unconfirmed reports until the 1960s (Williams and Harrison 1972, Tennyson and Martinson 2006).


The species roosted and nested among rocks in open country and on forest edge (Williams and Harrison 1972).


Causes of the species's extinction are obscure, possibly habitat modification through grazing or burning, or predation by introduced mammals (Williams and Harrison 1972).


Text account compilers
Brooks, T., Khwaja, N. & Mahood, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Sceloglaux albifacies. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2019.