Grand Comoro Scops Owl (Otus pauliani)

Grand Comoro Scops Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Otus pauliani | [authority] Benson, 1960 | [UK] Grand Comoro Scops Owl | [FR] Petit-duc du Karthala | [DE] Komoreneule | [ES] Autillo de las Comores | [NL] Grote Comoro-schreeuwuil


Monotypic species


Members of the genus Otus are the Scops and Screech owls. They are relatively small owls, with short, rounded wings. Most have erectile ear-tufts. Otus is a worldwide genus, containing some 45 species.

Physical charateristics

Small owl. Only one colour form: greyish-brown, heavily barred, streaked and vermiculated. Bright yellow eyes. Voice Whistled toot given at one-second intervals

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 15 cm size max.: 20 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Africa : Grand Comore Islands, Comoros


This species occurs from 650 m upwards to the tree line6. It is territorial, occurring in primary, montane, evergreen forest, favouring areas with old hollow trees, but is also found in “pioneer forest”; (forest that grows on rocky soils)`


Builds nest in cavity, highly territorial in its 5 ha teeritory.

Feeding habits

Probably insects, male’s weak talons suggest feeding on invertebrates


This species is classified as Critically Endangered since it has an extremely small range, occurring at only one location, an active volcano where clearance of forest for agriculture by the island’s large and increasing human population is causing a continuing decline in the area of suitable habitat, and thus its extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, and population.
Otus pauliani is found only on Mt Karthala, an active volcano on Grand Comoro (= Ngazidja), in the Comoro Islands. In November 1989, studies revealed its presence on the northern, western and southern flanks of the volcano where about 100 km2 of suitable habitat exists, and the population may prove to be over 1,000 pairs1. In September 2005, the species was found to be abundant on the south-eastern flanks of the Karthala which may increase the population estimate
Grand Comoro Scops Owl status Critically Endangered



Distribution map

Grand Comoro Scops Owl distribution range map

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