Thursday, February 14, 2013

[Ornithology • 2013] Otus jolandae | Rinjani Scops Owl • A New Owl Species of the Genus Otus (Aves: Strigidae) from Gunung Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Rinjani Scops Owl | Otus jolandae 
Sangster, King, Verbelen & Trainor 2013

Rinjani Scops Owl | Otus jolandae  Sangster, King, Verbelen & Trainor 2013
The avifauna of Indonesia is one of the richest in the world but the taxonomic status of many species remains poorly documented. The sole species of scops owl known from Lombok has long been assigned to the widespread Moluccan Scops Owl Otus magicus on the basis of superficial similarities in morphology. Field work in 2003 has shown that the territorial song of the scops owls inhabiting the foothills of Gunung Rinjani differs dramatically from that of O. magicus and is more similar to those of Rufescent Scops Owl O. rufescens and Singapore Scops Owl O. cnephaeus. Detailed comparisons of sound recordings and museum specimens with those of other scops owls in Wallacea and the Indo-Malayan region have confirmed the distinctiveness of the Lombok population. We describe Otus jolandae as a new species, the Rinjani Scops Owl. It is locally common at elevations from 25–1350 m. and occurs within Gunung Rinjani National Park. The new species is known from seven specimens collected by Alfred Everett in 1896. Otus jolandae represents the first endemic bird species from Lombok.

Map of Wallacea, a group of Indonesian islands separated by deep water straits from the Asian and Australian continental shelves, showing approximate rages of owl species and subspecies. | doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053712

Rinjani Scops Owl Otus jolandae,
Lombok, August 2008
photo: Philippe Verbelen | doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053712

Etymology: Named after GS’s wife, Dr Jolanda A. Luksenburg, a biologist at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA, who co-discovered the species in 2003 and contributed much to the field work that led to the description of Caprimulgus meesi.

Common Name: We propose the English common name ‘Rinjani Scops Owl’ and the Indonesian name ‘Celepuk Rinjani’. Both names refer to Gunung Rinjani, the second highest volcano in Indonesia and Lombok’s most impressive physical feature.

Sangster, G.; King, B. F.; Verbelen, P.; Trainor, C. R. 2013. A New Owl Species of the Genus Otus (Aves: Strigidae) from Lombok, Indonesia. PLoS ONE. 8 (2): e53712. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053712 
Rinjani Scops Owl Identified In Indonesia As New Species via @HuffPostGreen