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Dodo Raphus cucullatus
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This species was found in Mauritius, but is now Extinct as a result of hunting by settlers and nest predation by introduced pigs. Birds thought to represent the last individuals were killed on the offshore islet Ile d'Ambre in 1662.

Taxonomic source(s)
Brooks, T. 2000. Extinct species. In: BirdLife International (ed.), Threatened birds of the world, pp. 701-708. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona and Cambridge, U.K.
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
Raphus cucullatus is known from numerous bones, specimen fragments, reports and paintings from Mauritius (Strickland and Melville 1848). It was last reported from an offshore islet by Iversen in 1662 (Cheke 1987), and although there was a report by an escaped slave in 1674 and statistical techniques indicate that it is likely to have persisted until 1690 (Roberts and Solow 2004), it is generally considered that all references to "dodos" thereafter refer to Red Rail Aphanapteryx bonasia (Cheke 2006).

It was mainly a species of the dry lowland forests (Owadally 1979), although possible mutualism with the upland tambalacoque tree Calvaria major (Temple 1977) suggests that it may have ranged into the hills (Hachisuka 1953). Evidence suggests it was predominantly herbivorous (Rijsdijk et al. 2009). The species was flightless (Livezey 1993) and tame (Hachisuka 1953).

Due to its tameness and large size it was very heavily hunted for food by sailors (Hachisuka 1953).

Related state of the world's birds case studies

Cheke, A. S. 1987. An ecological history of the Mascarene Islands, with particular reference to extinctions and introductions of land vertebrates. In: Diamond, A.W. (ed.), Studies of Mascarene island birds, pp. 5-89. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.

Cheke, A.S. 2006. Establishing extinction dates - the curious case of the Dodo Raphus cucullatus and the Red Hen Aphanapteryx bonasis. Ibis 148: 155-158.

Hachisuka, M. 1953. The Dodo and kindred birds. Witherby, London.

Livezey, B. C. 1993. An ecomorphological review of the Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) and Solitaire (Pezophaps solitaria), flightless Columbiformes of the Mascarene Islands. Journal of Zoology (London) 230: 247-292.

Owadally, A. W. 1979. The Dodo and the tambalacoque tree. Science 203: 1363-1364.

Rijsdijk, K. F.; Hume, J. P.; Bunnik, F.; Florens, F. B. V.; Baider, C.; Shapiro, B.; van der Plicht, J.; Janoo, A.; Griffiths, O.; van den Hoek Ostende, L. W.; Cremer, H.; Vernimmen, T.; De Louw, P. G. B.; Bholah, A.; Saumtally, S.; Porch, N.; Haile, J. 2009. Mid-Holocene vertebrate bone Concentration-Lagerstätte on oceanic island Mauritius provide a window into the ecosystem of the Dodo (Raphus cucullatus). Quaternary Science Reviews 28: 14-24.

Roberts, D. L.; Solow, A. R. 2003. When did the dodo become extinct? Nature 426(6464): 245.

Strickland, H. G.; Melville, A. G. 1848. The Dodo and its kindred. Reeve, Benham and Reeve, London.

Temple, S. A. 1977. Plant-animal mutualism: coevolution with Dodos leads to near extinction of plant. Science 197: 885-886.

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
Brooks, T., Khwaja, N., Mahood, S.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Raphus cucullatus. 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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Extinct
Family Columbidae (Pigeons, Doves)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species