Cinnamon Screech-Owl

Megascops petersoni

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Cause of Decline: Unknown

Location: Asia

Collection: Birds

FMNH catalogue no. 317314

The cinnamon screech owl is found in the tropical and subtropical montane regions of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. It weighs only 80-120 grams and is about 21cm long. The species has only been known to biologists for 30 years and there is still very little information available on this diminutive owl.

We consider our knowledge of birds to be very good compared to other classes in the animal kingdom and tools to set conservation status like the IUCN Red List are excellent. However, M. petersoni is a prime example of the limitations of both. Lack of knowledge of this species has lead to a risk classification no higher than ‘least concern’. According to John Bates of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, this owl’s existence has only been known since the early 1980s and very little is known of the population density and trends within its range as well as its biology and life history. Incomplete knowledge of such species results in a classification that can only go so far in estimating the risk of extinction. Ultimately, we do not know enough about M. petersoni to ensure its long-term conservation.

Cinnamon screech owl bird Megascops petersoni - Extinction

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