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New Caledonian Owlet-nightjar

Aegotheles savesi


This mysterious species, which has not been since 1998, continues to elude birdwatchers and researchers.

It is known only one sighting, three reports, and from two specimens, which are held in museums in Liverpool and Italy. The bird is endemic to the island of New Caledonia, which is in the South Pacific Ocean to the east of Australia. Compared to other owlet-nightjars, this species is larger and has longer legs, hinting at a more ground-dwelling existence. The bird has been classified as critically endangered as its population is unlikely to number more than 50 individuals. They have been placed at the base of their family’s phylogeny, suggesting that it was one of the first to diverge from other members of the genus, evolving in isolation on the island of New Caledonia. More research on the species’ ecological habits and range needs to be undertaken to inform conservation action.

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Aegothelidae
  • Population: <50
  • Trend: decreasing
  • Size: 28cm

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 6.34 (?)
ED Score: 34.41 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


Endemic to the island of New Caledonia, in the South Pacific Ocean to the east of Australia.

Habitat and Ecology

This species’ have been sighted in humid forest, and areas dominated by Melaleuca plants. Very little is known about this enigmatic species, but it has been seen foraging for insects at dusk, and can be presumed that it is territorial and employs a sit and wait tactic to prey on small animals. Its large size and long legs suggest it is ground dwelling.

Find out more

This wordcloud illustrates the threats facing this species. The size of each word indicates the extent of a species range that is affected by that threat (larger size means a greater area is affected). The colour of the word indicates how much that threat impacts the species (darker shades of red mean the threat is more severe).

Mining Logging Fire Invasive species

Threat wordcloud key:

Small area affected
Large area affected
Least severe
Most severe
Severity unknown
Source: The IUCN List of Threatened Species. Version 2017.1.
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