Ecology

Researchers Find New Owl Species

Unique to Indonesia

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Researchers in Indonesia unwittingly identified a new species of owl believed to be unique to the country, raising hopes of further new bird discoveries, a scientist said Thursday.

The brown-and-white Rinjani Scops owl was first spotted in 2003 on the island of Lombok, while researchers were looking for another nocturnal bird. It was formally identified by four scientists Wednesday in the online "Plos One" journal.

Prior to that, the bird had been mistaken for the related Moluccan Scops owl, found in the Maluku islands in central Indonesia.