Archived 2017 topics: Wallace’s Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles wallacii): list as Least Concern?

BirdLife Species factsheet for Wallace’s Owlet-nightjar:

Wallace’s Owlet-nightjar, Aeotheles wallacii, is currently listed as Data Deficient. It is known from New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea), and has been recorded from the Aru Islands. On New Guinea it has been recorded at scattered locations from Vogelkop in the far west across to Karimui in central Papua New Guinea. It is known from few specimens and few recent observations, although this lack of records may result from the extremely unobtrusive nature of the genus, and its call was, until recently, poorly known (Coates 1985, Beehler and Pratt 2016); though several sound recordings of the species have now been made from the southern and northern lowlands (I. Woxvold pers. comm. 2016).

The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as sparsely distributed (Beehler and Pratt 2016), and given its large extent of occurrence it is not thought to approach the threshold for Vulnerable based on population size or EOO. Within its range, some of the forest is threatened by logging and agricultural expansion; and introduced mammalian predators may pose a threat as they have done elsewhere to Owlet-nightjars as they are hole-nesters (Brigham and Geiser 1997). However, any declines are not currently thought to be sufficiently fast to approach the threshold for Vulnerable. Therefore, the species is not thought to approach the threshold for Vulnerable under any criterion and hence would warrant listing as Least Concern.

We welcome any further comments or additional information regarding this proposed listing.



Beehler, B. M.; Pratt, T. K. 2016. Birds of New Guinea. Distribution, taxonomy, and systematics. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

Brigham, R. M.; Geiser, F. 1997. Breeding biology of Australian Owlet-nightjars Aegotheles cristatus in Eucalypt woodland. Emu 97: 316-321.

Coates, B. J. 1985. The birds of Papua New Guinea, 1: non-passerines. Dove, Alderley, Australia.

This entry was posted in Archive, Asia, Pacific and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Archived 2017 topics: Wallace’s Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles wallacii): list as Least Concern?

  1. Phil Gregory says:

    It seems fairly easy to see and hear at some sites up along the Elevala R tributaries and I can see no reason why it should not be widespread here. I have sound recordings and photos of them at two landowner lodges. LC seems appropriate

  2. Hannah Wheatley (BirdLife) says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2017 Red List would be to adopt the proposed classifications outlined in the initial forum discussion.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 4 August, after which the recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    Please note that we will then only post final recommended categorisations on forum discussions where these differ from those in the initial proposal.

    The final 2017 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in early December, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

Comments are closed.