Moheli Scops Owl (Otus moheliensis)

Moheli Scops Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Otus moheliensis | [authority] Lafontaine and Moulaert, 1998 | [UK] Moheli Scops Owl | [FR] Petit-duc de Moheli | [DE] Mohelieule | [ES] Autillo de Moheli | [NL] Anjouan dwergooruil


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Otus moheliensis AF Moheli Is, Comoros


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

Two colour forms. Rufous form is bright orangey-buff with unusually reduced barring and streaks. Brown morph is darker and heavily streaked and vermiculated. Both colour forms have yellow-green eyes, grey legs and black beaks. The Moheli scops-owl is highly vocal, producing hissing whistles and screeches.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 20 cm size max.: 22 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 : Moheli Islands, Comoros


It is found in dense, humid forest, which remains only on the central mountain peak and its upper slopes. It is common in intact forest, but less so in forest under-planted for agriculture. It has also been recently sighted in degraded forest, however it is not known whether this habitat can support a breeding.


Nests in tree cavity, no further data.

Feeding habits

No data


This scops-owl is classified as Critically Endangered because it has an extremely small range, occurring on only one mountain ridge. There has been a continuing decline in the area and quality of habitat, from which it is suspected that there has been a continuing decline in its extent of occurrence, area of occupancy and the number of mature individuals.
This species is endemic to Moheli in the Comoro Islands. It is relatively abundant – its density has been estimated at one individual/5 ha of near-primary forest (c.10 km2) and one individual per 10 ha of degraded forest, giving a total population in the order of 400 individuals
Moheli Scops Owl status Critically Endangered



Distribution map

Moheli Scops Owl distribution range map

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