George Sangster of the Swedish Museum of Natural History and colleagues from other institutions reported the discovery of a new owl species native to the island of Lombok, Indonesia in the Feb. 13, 2013, issue of the open access peer reviewed journal Public Library of Science.
The new species of owl is named Otus jolandae. The bird is found nowhere else in the world.
Uniquely, two of the research team found separate specimens of the owl in different locations on the island within just a few days of beginning their search for the owl. The species had been reported by native peoples and other scientists but had never been photographed before.
Owl species are most often defined by the uniqueness of their vocalizations. This was the case with Otus jolandae. The bird resembles other owls in the area in feather pigmentation, size, and shape but the sound and pattern of vocalization are unique.
The new species was first known from seven specimens originally collected by Alfred Everett in 1896.
George Sangster 1,2 *, Ben F. King 3, Philippe Verbelen 4, Colin R. Trainor 5
1 Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden, 2 Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, 3 Ornithology Department, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, United States of America, 4 Independent Researcher, Gentbrugge, Belgium, 5 Independent Researcher, Perth, Western Australia, Australia