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Comoro Olive-pigeon Columba pollenii
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is listed as Near Threatened owing to its small population. It faces threats from habitat clearance and degradation, and hunting, and if the population was found to be in decline it may qualify for a higher threat category.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Distribution and population
Columba pollenii is endemic to the Comoro archipelago where it is found on all three islands of the Comoro Islands and on Mayotte (to France) (Louette 1988). On Grand Comoro, it is moderately common on Mt Karthala and La Grille above 500 m, increasing in abundance up to the tree-line at 1,750 m, while on Moheli, it is limited to the island's main forested ridge (Louette 1988). On Anjouan, it is uncommon and restricted to the few remaining areas of primary forest (Moorcroft 1996). On Mayotte, it remains in a number of widespread remnant pockets of suitable, wet, high-altitude forest and occurs in this habitat at a higher density than on the other islands (Stevens and Louette 1999). Numbers on each island are low, and the total population may be under 10,000 individuals. It has been suggested that migration between islands must take place for there to be a continuingly viable population (Louette 1988).

Population justification
The species is hunted and little known. It probably numbers less than 10,000 individuals and is thus placed in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals. This equates to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and unsustainable levels of exploitation.

It is largely restricted to primary forest. The species is usually found at high elevations, although on Maore it extends down to sea-level (del Hoyo et al. 1997). It feeds on fruit plucked from trees, but also appears to feed on the ground. The only nest documented was found five metres above the ground and contained a single egg (del Hoyo et al. 1997).

Its habitat is diminishing as a result of charcoal production and shifting cultivation (Louette 1988). The species is not found in plantations and gardens, suggesting that it does not adapt well to disturbed habitat (del Hoyo et al. 1997). Hunting is a threat on all four islands Safford 2001a, 2001b; Stevens and Louette 1999). Introduced predators are a potential threat (del Hoyo et al. 1997).

Conservation Actions Underway
No action for this species is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor population trends. Protect habitat from clearance and degradation. Discourage hunting through environmental education.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1997. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Louette, M. 1988. Les oiseaux de Comores. Annales Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale (Sciences Zoologiques) 255: 1-192.

Moorcroft, D. 1996. Anjouan Expedition '95.

Safford, R. J. 2001. Comoros. In: Fishpool, L.D.C.; Evans, M.I. (ed.), Important Bird Areas in Africa and associated islands: Priority sites for conservation, pp. 185-190. Pisces Publications and BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No.11), Newbury and Cambridge, UK.

Safford, R. J. 2001. Mayotte. In: Fishpool, L.D.C.; Evans, M.I. (ed.), Important Bird Areas in Africa and associated islands: Priority sites for conservation, pp. 597-601. Pisces Publications and BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No.11), Newbury and Cambridge, UK.

Stevens, J.; Louette, M. 1999. Land bird abundance and the conservation of biodiversity on the island of Mayotte (Indian Ocean). Alauda 67: 123-139.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Robertson, P., Warren, B., Taylor, J., Pilgrim, J., O'Brien, A.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Columba pollenii. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Columbidae (Pigeons, Doves)
Species name author Schlegel, 1866
Population size 1500-7000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 2,100 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species