Polynesian Ground-dove
Gallicolumba erythroptera


This species qualifies as Critical. It is very rarely seen and is currently known from just one locality, but there have been few surveys within its range, and it is assumed to have a very small population, fragmented into extremely small subpopulations, on tiny wooded islets. Its extinction from several islands indicates an overall decline, which is likely to continue owing to predation by rats and cats, habitat loss and deterioration, and natural disasters such as hurricanes and severe storms.


Range Map for Polynesian Ground-dove


It was formerly caught by local people for food but it is more likely that the introduction of cats and rats, particularly black rat Rattus rattus, are the real reasons for its decline3. Habitat loss is also likely to have been a factor as the largest atolls with the richest vegetation have been cleared for coconut plantations4.


Expeditions in June and October 1999 surveyed eight islands. Follow-up work, including further surveys, rat eradication and captive breeding, is planned for 2001.


*Conduct further surveys in the central Tuamotus and Actaeon group, including showing pictures to local people1,2,5. *Study the remaining wild population on Tenararo, e.g. feeding and breeding behaviour1,2. *Protect Tenararo from the introduction of predators (especially R. rattus) and human disturbance1,2. *Identify suitable islands in the Actaeon group for translocation, either rat- and cat-free or where eradication is possible1,2,5. *Increase public awareness through the local press and school conferences1. *Establish a captive-breeding population1,2. *Develop a Recovery Plan5.

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