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Strix seloputo


Strix seloputo Horsfield, 1821

Family Name: Strigidae
Taxonomic Group: Vertebrates (Bird)
Common Name: Spotted Wood Owl


Taxonomic Group 1
Taxonomic Group 2
Family Name
Species Epithet
Common Names


Description Large. Earless head. Bold black-barred bluffy underparts are distinctive. Upperparts dark brown with white spots. Eyes dark brown. Bill grey. Tarsus feathered.

Ecology, Habitat & Location

Ecological Notes A forest and woodland species, sometimes found in the vicinity of water, usually solitary or in pairs. This species was first seen in Singapore in December 1985 in the Central Catchment forest followed by a breeding record in August 1986. Since then the Spotted Wood Owl has been found in seven other sites, a development which has increased the survival chances of this owl. Like other large owls, it feeds on small vertebrates, mainly mammals and birds. Habitually roosts in tall trees from where it calls.
Habitats Forest
Distribution Found in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Swiss Club Road, Sentosa, Labrador Nature Reserve, Dover Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Zehnder Road, Pulau Ubin, Jurong Lake, Seletar Airbase and the Jalan Bahar area. There is also a one-off record from St. John’s Island. This species has a rather peculiar distribution, occurring in Indochina, Peninsular Malaysia, Java and Palawan, but not in Borneo.
Nature Reserves Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Labrador Nature Reserve
Nature Areas Pulau Ubin


Trends & Threats Habitat loss and disturbance.
Scientific Interest & Potential Value The largest owl in Singapore and the most spectacular owl to be found in various parks.
Conservation Notes Population may be around 22 or more. Most of the sites mentioned above are protected as Nature Areas in the Singapore Green Plan 2012. Areas in the vicinity of Swiss Club Road, Seletar Airbase and Jurong Lake, Zehnder Road and Dover Road should be added to the list of conservation areas to protect this species.


Species Status Resident
Conservation Status Rare
Singapore Red Data Book Status Critically Endangered (CR) [2008]
CITES Appendix II





Davison, G.W.H., Ng, P.K.L. & Ho, H.C (Eds.). 2008. The Singapore Red Data Book (2nd Edition). Singapore: Nature Society (Singapore). 285pp

Lim, K.S. & Gardner, D. 1997. Birds: An illustrated field guide to the birds of Singapore. Singapore: Sun Tree Publishing Limited. 226pp

Wang, L.K. & Hails, C.J. 2007. An annotated checklist of the birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement no. 15. 179pp


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Species ID
Species record last updated on: 21 August 2019.