Socotra Scops-owl Otus socotranus


Taxonomic note
Otus senegalensis, O. feae, O. pamelae and O. socotranus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as O. senegalensis. Before then, O. senegalensis, plus O. scops, O. sunia and O. alius (the latter three sensu del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were split following Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993), AOU (1998) and Rasmussen (1998). Prior to that, all these taxa had been lumped as O. scops following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

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
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2016 Least Concern
2014 Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 4,300
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 2000 medium estimated 2013
Population trend Stable suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations 1 - - -
Largest subpopulations 100 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 3.7 - - -

Population justification: Found in c45% of the area of Socotra, with night surveys suggesting a density of up to three birds singing/km2 where most numerous. If each recording square where birds were present held over 50 pairs, the total Socotra and global population may be in the region of c1,000 pairs (Porter and Suleiman 2013), or 2,000 mature individuals, roughly equating to 3,000 individuals. Prior to these surveys, various surveys carried out between 1999 and 2007 indicated a population of c.300 pairs (Jennings 2010).

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

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Yemen N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Yemen Diksam (Socotra)
Yemen Firmihin near Jabal Keseslah, Socotra
Yemen Hadiboh estuaries of Hadiboh, Sheck and Sirhan (Socotra)
Yemen Hamaderoh plateau and scarp, Socotra
Yemen Jabal Ma'alah / Ma'alah Plateau, Socotra
Yemen Limestone plateau above Siko village, Socotra
Yemen North slopes of the Haggeher Mountains (Socotra)
Yemen Wadi Di Negehen (Socotra)
Yemen Wadi Merkoh (Socotra)

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable resident
Desert Hot suitable resident
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 850 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Otus socotranus. Downloaded from on 03/04/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 03/04/2020.