VU
Rufous Fishing-owl Scotopelia ussheri



Taxonomy

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - A3cd+4cd

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Vulnerable A3cd+4cd
2016 Vulnerable C2a(i)
2012 Vulnerable C2a(i)
2011 Vulnerable C2a(i)
2008 Endangered C2a(i)
2004 Endangered
2000 Endangered
1996 Endangered
1994 Endangered
1988 Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency high
Land-mass type continent
Average mass -
Range

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 466,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Population
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals poor suspected 2011
Population trend decreasing medium inferred 2016-2028
Rate of change over the past 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 20-29% - - -
Rate of change over the future 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 30-49% - - -
Rate of change over the past & future 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 30-49% - - -
Generation length 7.3 years - - -

Population justification: The species was previously estimated to number fewer than 2,500 individuals because of its apparent scarcity; however, it has recently been shown to be more widespread and probably more common than previously thought (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2008, 2009), thus it is now suspected to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. Further study is required to confirm this.

Trend justification:

This species is inferred to be declining owing to ongoing forest loss (Global Forest Watch 2021).
During the years 2001-2019, this species experienced forest cover loss of 20% across its range. This equates to 22% over three generations. While this species may tolerate habitat degradation under certain conditions (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2009), it is also threatened by capture for trade. Therefore the overall rate of decline is suspected to fall into the band 20-29% over three generations. During the years 2016-2019, this species experienced forest cover loss of 8.2% across its range (Global Forest Watch 2021). Projecting this forward three generations from 2016, this would equate to a loss of c.38%. Therefore the overall rate of future decline is suspected to fall into the band 30-49%  over three generations.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Côte d'Ivoire extant native yes
Ghana extant native yes
Guinea extant native yes
Liberia extant native yes
Sierra Leone extant native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Côte d'Ivoire Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve
Côte d'Ivoire Peko Mountain National Park
Côte d'Ivoire Lamto Ecological Research Station
Côte d'Ivoire Parc National de Taï et Réserve de faune du N'Zo
Côte d'Ivoire Azagny National Park
Ghana Ankasa Resource Reserve - Nini-Sushien National Park
Guinea Massif du Ziama
Guinea Diécké
Liberia Nimba mountains
Liberia Zwedru
Sierra Leone Loma Mountains Non-hunting Forest Reserve
Sierra Leone Gola Forests

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland major resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Swamp suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks suitable resident
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting - Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Climate change & severe weather Other impacts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Other
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Soil erosion, sedimentation Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality

Utilisation
Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - non-trivial recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Scotopelia ussheri. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/rufous-fishing-owl-scotopelia-ussheri on 03/03/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org on 03/03/2024.