Newly discovered Owl Species (Principe Scops-Owl)

Newly discovered Owl Species (Principe Scops-Owl)

The New Discovery

     Scientists recently discovered a new species of owl located in Central Africa’s rainforests. The new species is highly threatened. They were first discovered in 1928 but it wasn’t enough to confirm their presence until 2016. The bird is now officially known as the Principe Scops-Owl or Otus Bikegila. “Otus” is the generic name given to a group of small owls sharing a common history, commonly called scops-owls. The birds tend to live in lower-elevation areas of old-growth forests on the uninhabited, protected south end of Príncipe, which is one of the two main islands that make up the West African nation. 

New owl species found—and it has a haunting screech

Who led to the discovery?

In the wild, the easiest way to recognize a Principe Scops Owl from any other Owl would be its unique call. The call played a huge role in leading to its discovery.“Otus Bikegila‘s unique call is a short “tuu” note repeated at a fast rate of about one note per second, reminiscent of insect calls. It is often emitted in duets, almost as soon as the night has fallen,” Martim Melo explains.” “Bikegila,” ultimately led to the discovery. He is said to have been one of the first known people to spot the bird in the 1990s. 


General Facts

    There are about 50 different species of Scop Owls in the world. There is a ton of research still happening to try and figure out more but what we know so far is that it appears that they are a new addition to the Otus genus. These species are so new making it harder to discover information about them but what we do know for sure is that it can only go upward from here and hopefully soon we will know more about this new species. 

New species of owl discovered in the rainforests of Africa's Príncipe Island