Polynesian Imperial Pigeon
Ducula aurorae

This species qualifies as Endangered because it has an extremely small population, occurring on just two islands and being close to extinction on one of these. It appears unable to adapt to changes in its environment and colonize new areas, demonstrating the urgent need to conserve its habitat.


Range Map for Polynesian Imperial-pigeon

On Makatea, much of its habitat was destroyed during the period 1917-1964, as a result of phospate mining and, although the indigenous vegetation has recovered over the last 40 years, it probably remains limited to a small part of the island4,9. Predation by introduced rats (particularly black rat Rattus rattus) may be a problem2, although the species has coexisted with rats for several decades10. On Moorea and other formerly inhabited islands, its extinction may have been the consequence of the spread through the Society Islands of the Swamp Harrier Circus approximans, although hunting and forest destruction or deterioration were probably also factors1,5,8.

On Tahiti , a year-long study in 1998 collected information from the inhabitants of the valleys where it was last recorded7,10.

*On Makatea, resurvey the population4 in order to assess both numbers and distribution within primary and regenerating forest. *On Tahiti , conduct field surveys to confirm its presence or extirpation. *Consider captive breeding and reintroduction.

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