Wetar Scops-owl Otus tempestatis


Justification of Red List Category
Although this species may have a small range, it is not believed to 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 has not been quantified, 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. Evidence of declines or significant threats could lead to the species being eligible for uplisting to a higher threat category.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as locally common (Konig et al. 1999).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats; threats to habitat on the island exist, but are only likely to affect less than 5% of the island, and much less than this over the next 5-10 years (C. Trainor in litt. 2013).

Distribution and population

Endemic to Wetar Island, in the Lesser Sundas, Indonesia.


O. tempestatis occurs in forested habitats, including swampy areas with bushes and trees and plantations (Konig & Weick 2008) apparently shows some tolerance for modified habitats and has been recorded around villages and mining areas on the island (C. Trainor in litt. 2013).


19-20 cm. A typical, relatively small scops-owl occuring in both a rufous and grey form. Both have relatively short, rounded ear tufts, narrow dark shaft streaks and sparse vermiculations on the upperparts and similar but heavier markings on the underparts. The ground cover of the belly is similar to the rest of the underparts. Similar species. O. magicus is similar, but has heavier dark markings on the upperparts, whiter belly and differs in voice. Voice. A group of 4-6 short-spaced barking notes, differing from the evenly well-spaced, slightly more deeply-pitched barking notes of O. magicus.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Martin, R, Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Trainor, C.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Otus tempestatis. Downloaded from on 01/06/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 01/06/2023.