Flores Scops Owl (Otus alfredi)

Flores Scops Owl (Otus alfredi) is endemic to the island of Flores, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia (BirdLife International 2001). Originally collected on Gunung Repok in 1896 in the Todo mountains of south-west Flores, it was not seen again until 1994, when a single juvenile was mist-netted and collected at 1,400 m on the northern slopes of Poco Mandasawu in the Ruteng mountains, and an adult was mist-netted at Danau Ranamese at 1,200 m in the Ruteng mountains.

It has since been seen again at Danau Ranamese in 1997, 2005 (when its vocalisations were described), 2006 (Hutchinson et al. 2007) and now with some regularity by bird watchers (Simay et al. 2009). Other reports include observations at Sisok forest and Mbeliling Forest Reserve (Reeve and Rabenak 2015). Local reports suggest it may also still occur on Gunung Repok, but information regarding its population is completely lacking. A record of the species in Keli Mutu was an eastward extension of its range (Hutchinson et al. 2007, Verbelen in litt. 2016) and Mbeliling a westward extension of its range (Simay et al. 2009).

The population is estimated to number in the low hundreds or the low thousands based on an analysis of historical and recent records and surveys. An estimate derived from density data from congeners, and data on the species’s Extent of Occurrence, suggests the population numbers 250-2,499 mature individuals. This is roughly equivalent to 370-3,800 individuals in total

It inhabits montane forest from 1,000 m to at least 1,400 m. If it survives on Gunung Repok, as villagers report, then it must either tolerate the highly degraded forest now present below 1,300 m around the type-locality, or occur above 1,500 m in stunted montane forest. One bird was observed perching 15 m up in the subcanopy. It is assumed to be resident, but may perhaps make local altitudinal movements.

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