Cook Islands Fruit Dove
Ptilinopus rarotongensis

This species qualifies as Vulnerable because it is likely to have a small population and is confined to just two tiny islands, where it remains at risk from chance events. It has already been extirpated from a few islands, illustrating its susceptibility to threats, and could be undergoing a slow decline, in which case it would warrant Endangered status.


Range Map for Cook Islands Fruit-dove

Black rat Rattus rattus (present on Rarotonga) and the ubiquitous threat of habitat destruction pose serious problems to all the indigenous birds of the Cook Islands, while the introduction of exotic avian diseases, to which local birds have no immunity, is another possible threat2. Although the introduced Common Myna Acridotheres tristis did not introduce any pathogens, it is aggressive and widespread and is often blamed for the demise of the native landbirds2.

The species presumably benefits from conservation measures carried out for the Rarotonga Flycatcher Pomarea dimidiata (classified as Endangered) in the south-east of the island, including intensive rat control.

*Survey and monitor the species on both islands to establish numbers and trends. *Research its immediate conservation requirements1, including foraging and dietary studies5. *Take measures to ensure that alien species are not accidently introduced, especially R. rattus on Atiu. *Consider translocation to Mangaia5.

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