Palawan Scops-owl Otus fuliginosus


Justification of Red List Category
There are some indications that this species has a moderately small population, occupying a small range, which are both in decline owing to forest loss. However, further research is needed into the species's population size and structure, and the impact of potential threats, although its tolerance of human-modified landscapes means that its population is unlikely to be severely fragmented. It is therefore listed as Near Threatened.

Population justification
This species is thought to have a moderately small population as it is a bird of lowland forest restricted to the island of Palawan. It is placed in the band 10,000-19,999 mature individuals, equating to 15,000-29,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 15,000-30,000 individuals. However, this is a preliminary estimate that requires clarification.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in slow decline owing to forest loss and degradation. The rate of decline is not thought to be more rapid because this species seems able to tolerate landscape-scale changes in habitats caused by human activities.

Distribution and population

Otus fuliginosus is endemic to the Philippines where it is known from Palawan and the adjacent islands of Alabagin and Balabac, with an unconfirmed report from Calauit (Collar et al. 1999). On Palawan, there are records from Kinalaykayan and Dicabaitot, St Paul's Subterranean River National Park, Cleopatra's Needle, Buenavista, Iwahig Penal Colony, the vicinity of Puerto Princesa, Quezon at Tabon, Singnapan at Kabasakan, Pinikpikan and Tining-luan, Taguso, Mt Mantalingajan at Pinigisan and Tigwayan, Batarasa. Although described as rare and evidently a bird of lowland forest, the emerging evidence from knowledge of its voice is that it is much more common and more widespread than was supposed.


It is a bird of lowland forest, but can adapt to mixed cultivation and plantations.


As a forest-associated species, deforestation driven by logging and agricultural expansion has almost certainly caused declines, especially as the species occurs in the lowlands.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
No species-specific actions are known, but the species has been recorded from St Paul's Subterranean River National Park.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Protect areas of lowland forest within the species's range. Enforce restrictions on agricultural encroachment and logging within such protected areas. Generate density estimates to inform a revised population estimate for the species. Estimate population trends by calculating rates of forest loss within its range using satellite imagery and remote sensing techniques.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Otus fuliginosus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 08/07/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 08/07/2020.