Seram Masked-owl Tyto almae


Justification of Red List Category
This newly described species is listed as Data Deficient because there is judged to be insufficient information available for a robust assessment of its risk of extinction against the Red List criteria.

Population justification
The population size has not been assessed and further surveys are required.

Trend justification
There is some localised pressure on forested areas on Seram; however, further research into habitat trends and the ecological requirements of the species are needed before a population trend can be reliably inferred.

Distribution and population

Tyto almae appears to be endemic to the island of Seram, Indonesia, where both known records of Tyto owls are from within the protected Manusela National Park, which covers about 10% of the 17,100 km2 island (Jønsson et al. 2013). The national park is one of the only areas on Seram likely to be visited by ornithologists and so the lack of records elsewhere on the island does not necessarily imply the species’s absence.


The type specimen was mist-netted in wet, mossy lower montane forest at an elevation of 1,350 m (Jønsson et al. 2013). The natural vegetation of Seram is tropical lowland evergreen and semi-evergreen rainforest, with tropical montane rainforest above c.800 m (Jønsson et al. 2013).


Seram is still well-forested, although the low-lying areas where the human population is concentrated along the coast and in the west have been cleared (BirdLife International 2014).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species, although suitable habitat is protected within Manusela National Park.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to search for the species in additional areas and assess the population size. Conduct research into the species's ecology and habitat requirements. Monitor habitat trends through remote sensing and ground-based surveys. Increase the area of suitable habitat that receives effective protection.


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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Tyto almae. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/02/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/02/2023.