Wetar Ground Dove
Gallicolumba hoedtii

This species qualifies as Endangered because its population has suffered a very rapid decline (which might reasonably be expected to continue) as a result of severe lowland habitat loss and hunting. A healthy population may survive on Wetar, but surveys are required to establish its current status.


Range Map for Wetar Ground-dove

Habitat destruction in West and East Timor has been very extensive, and is presumably the primary threat. Original tropical monsoon-forest was effectively totally cleared from East Timor as a result of settlement and cultivation in the early 20th century. Monsoon-forests now only cover an estimated 4% of West Timor, scattered in seven unprotected patches that are continually declining in size due to intensive grazing and burning. In addition, pigeons are apparently hunted extensively on Timor, a factor that must have contributed to the decline of this species. The situation on Wetar is poorly known, although extensive forest observed in 1990 gives some hope that an important population might survive there.

Several protected areas have been proposed in West Timor and another (Gunung Arnau) on Wetar. Recent surveys have identified four further areas in West Timor to be of importance to the islands' endemic avifauna, two of which, Camplong and Soe are known localities for G. hoedtii. Another site, Gunung Timau, is currently subject to an initiative to include it within the Gunung Mutis protected area.

*Conduct surveys in remaining monsoon-forest on Wetar and West Timor to establish its current distribution, population status, seasonal movements, ecological constraints and main threats. *Propose key sites supporting populations of this, and other threatened species, for establishment as strict protected areas. *Strongly support initiatives to protect Gunung Timau.

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