Principe Scops-Owl Otus bikegila Scientific name definitions

Bárbara Freitas and Martim Melo
Version: 1.0 — Published October 24, 2023

About the Author(s)


Bárbara Freitas's worked on the Principe Scops-Owl under the scope of her M.Sc. thesis on biodiversity, genetics, and evolution at the University of Porto in Portugal. Bárbara has a long-standing passion for birds and previously studied the habitat use of waterbirds in the lower Douro River estuary, the conservation of the Cory's Shearwater, and worked in the management of the hummingbird collection of the Natural History and Science Museum of the University of Porto. She is now a Biology PhD fellow at the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN-CSIC) in Madrid (Spain) and at the Laboratory of Evolution and Biological Diversity (EDB, Université Toulouse-CNRS) in Toulouse (France) studying the role of song in speciation processes of island birds. Email: barbarabfreitas6[at]gmail.com

Martim Melo has been a keen birder ever since he can remember and a ringer since his early teens. He completed a Biology degree at the University of Lisbon, and went on to work for one-year as a volunteer for a UNDP project on the island of São Tomé, which triggered a long-lasting interest in the endemic avifauna of the Gulf of Guinea. This was followed by the Conservation Biology MSc at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology (University of Cape Town), with a thesis on the Grey Parrot from Príncipe Island, and a PhD on bird speciation in the Gulf of Guinea at the University of Edinburgh. A string of post-docs ensued at the CEFE-CNRS (Montpellier, France), at the FitzPatrick Institute, and at CIBIO.

Martim is interested in the processes generating diversity – from identifying the factors that drive population divergence to the evolution of reproductive isolation (speciation). Research has focused on the diversification of the bird fauna of Africa, and in particular in its oceanic and ecological islands (such as the Afromontane forests) – natural speciation centres that are amenable for the study of this complex process. The outputs of Martim's research feed directly into his long-standing and active interest in conservation, by providing a better understanding of the diversity patterns within centres of endemism. Martim is currently assisting in the development of education and capacity building programs in biodiversity hotspots – namely in the Gulf of Guinea and in Southern Africa, with a special focus on Angola.

Martim Melo is based at CIBIO (Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources) and at the Natural History and Science Museum, both from the University of Porto, Portugal, and is a Research Associate of the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, South Africa. He is a member of the board of the recently created Gulf of Guinea Biodiversity Centre and of SPEA, the Portuguese BirdLife International partner.

Recommended Citation

Freitas, B. and M. Melo (2023). Principe Scops-Owl (Otus bikegila), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (N. D. Sly, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.prisco1.01