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Mapping the Potential Distribution of the Critically Endangered Forest Owlet Heteroglaux blewitti in India


  • Bombay Natural History Society, Hombill House, S.B. Singh Road, Mumbai 400 001, Maharashtra, India
  • Foundation for Ecological Conservation and Sustainable Development, Kolhapur 416 007, Maharashtra, India
  • Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045, United States
  • College of Science, Sabah Al-Salem University City, Kuwait University, Shadadiya, Kuwait
  • RH-1,127/5, Ratan Park, Sus Road, Pashan, Pune 411 045, Maharashtra, India


The Forest Owlet Heteroglaux blewitti was discovered and described scientifically in the 1870s, but went unrecorded since 1880s until 1997; it was believed to be extinct for 113 years. Although the species was rediscovered and has now been intensively studied, the limits of its geographic distribution remain poorly known. This study related known occurrences of the species to remote-sensed environmental landscape characteristics to generate ecological niche models that helped to identify potential distributional areas. We detected the species during field surveys at one location not known previously to hold populations of the species, and identified many other possible areas of distribution for the species using our niche models.


Forest Owlet, Heteroglaux blewitti, Ecological Niche Modeling, Conservation.

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