Lesser Sooty-owl Tyto multipunctata


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very 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). The population trend appears to be stable, 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 may be small, 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
It has been estimated to number c.2,000 breeding pairs (Higgins 1999).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Distribution and population

Tyto multipunctata is found only in a substantial area of rainforest in north-eastern Queensland, Australia, between Shiptons Flat (south of Cooktown), south to Bluewater range (north of Townsville), and inland to Mt Carbine, Atherton and Ravenshoe. Its range may extend to south of Townsville, to Mt Elliott.


It prefers deep, wet gully forest dominated by eucalypts, occurring in drier forest only when hunting (Bruce 1999).


Some habitat has been cleared for agriculture, but a large area remains (Garnett 1992), and all logging has now stopped. There is some fragmentation of its former habitat, but in other areas, rainforest is rapidly expanding.


Text account compilers
Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Temple, H.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Tyto multipunctata. Downloaded from on 15/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 15/10/2021.