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Rediscovery, taxonomy and conservation of the Anjouan Scops Owl Otus capnodes (Gurney 1889)

  • Roger J. Safford (a1)

Summary

The Anjouan Scops Owl Otus capnodes, not recorded with certainty since about 1886, was rediscovered in June 1992. It has usually been treated as a race of Madagascar Scops Owl Otus rutilus but, judging from plumage and especially voice, it is a distinct species. It is found only in the remaining patches of upland forest (above 800 m) on Anjouan (Ndzuani), Comoro Islands, where the population is estimated to be at least several tens of pairs, probably between 100 and 200 pairs. The species is highly endangered by accelerating forest clearance and capture for food by the huge and increasing human population. Long-term environmental programmes are essential but may be too late to save this and other endangered species on Anjouan. Species-specific actions are needed: for the owl, a translocation to the neighbouring island of Moheli should be investigated.

La chouette Scops d'Anjouan Otus capnodes, qui n'avait pas été observée avec certitude depuis environ 1886, a été redécouverte en juin 1992. Elle était habituellement considérée comme appartenant à la race des chouettes Scops de Madagascar Otus rutilus, mais à en juger par son plumage et surtout par sa voix, c'est une espèce différente. Elle n'existe que dans les restants de forêts d'altitude (plus de 800 mètres) en Anjouan (Ndzuani), dans les lles Comores, où la population est estimée à au moins plusieurs dizaines de couples, probablement entre 100 et 200 paires. L'espèce est fortement menacée par l'accélération de la déforestation et la capture de ces oiseaux pour l'alimentation d'une population humaine très nombreuse et croissante. Des programmes de conservation de l'environnement à long terme sont essentiels, mais arriveront peut-être déjà trop tard pour sauver cette espèce et d'autres espèces menacées en Anjouan. Des actions spécifiquement centrées sur chaque espèce sont nécessaires: pour la chouette, la possibilité d'un transfert sur l'île voisine de Mohéli devrait être examinée.

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References

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Rediscovery, taxonomy and conservation of the Anjouan Scops Owl Otus capnodes (Gurney 1889)

  • Roger J. Safford (a1)

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