Aegotheles savesi Layard & Layard, 1881

Enigmatic owlet-nightjar, New Caledonian owlet-nightjar



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Aegotheles cristatus savesi Layard & Layard, 1881


Conservation Status


Last record: 1880 (1915? 1998?)

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered


The conservation status of this species is unclear. There has been no definite record since either 1880 or 1915, when the last of the two known specimens was taken (accounts vary). Although there have been numerous sightings since the 1950's, and the lastest, by Dr. Jonathan Eckstrom, is [url=]considered[/url] by EDGE ( to constitute the rediscovery of the species. Urgent surveys are required to assess the geographical extent of any remaining population.



New Caledonia


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Layard, E. L. and Layard, E. L. C. (1881). Notes on the avifauna of New Caledonia and the New Hebrides. With remarks by the Rev. Canon Tristram. Ibis (4) 5: 132-139.


Other references:

Balouet, Jean Christophe and Olson, Storrs L. (1989). Fossil Birds from Late Quaternary Deposits in New Caledonia. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 469: 1-38, 16 figures, 13 tables.

BirdLife International. (2012). Aegotheles savesi. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. ( Downloaded on 13 July 2012.

Dumbacher, J. P., Pratt, T. K. and Fleischer, R. C. (2003). Phylogeny of the owlet-nightjars (Aves: Aegothelidae) based on mitochondrial DNA sequence. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 29(3): 540-549.

Ekstrom, J. M. M., Jones, J. P. G., Willis, J., Tobias, J., Dutson, Guy and Barré, N. (2002). New information on the distribution, status and conservation of terrestrial bird species in Grande Terre, New Caledonia. Emu 102(2): 197-207. [Abstract]

Mayr, Ernst. (1945). Birds of the Southwest Pacific, xix + 316 pages, 16 figures, 3 plates, map. New York: Macmillan.

Olson, Storrs L., Balouet, Jean Christophe and Fisher, Clemency T. (1987). The owlet-night of New Caledonia, [i]Aegotheles savesi[/i], with comments on the systematics of the Aegothelidae. Le Gerfaut 77: 341-352.

Tobias, Joe A. and Ekstrom, J. M. M. (2002). The New Caledonian Owlet-nightjar Aegotheles savesi rediscovered? Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 122(4): 282-285.


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