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Nicobar Pigeon Caloenas nicobarica
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is classified as Near Threatened because throughout its wide range it is thought to be declining as a result of capture for food and the pet trade, habitat destruction and predation by introduced mammals.

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
Caloenas nicobarica is a small island specialist, it occurs on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India, Mergui archipelago (Myeik Kyunzu), Myanmar, islands off south-west peninsular Thailand, islands around Peninsular Malaysia, islands off southern Cambodia and Vietnam, islands around Sumatra, Wallacea and Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), Indonesia, possibly also Timor-Leste, many islands in the Philippines, islands in Papua New Guinea and throughout the Solomon Islands, plus Palau (race pelewensis). Generally scarce throughout its range, it is most abundant on the smallest, least disturbed islands. The distinctive race pelewensis was thought to still number up to 1,000 birds in 1985.


Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as generally scarce to rare, although locally commoner on smaller islets (Gibbs et al. 2001).

Trend justification
The species is suspected to be declining at a moderately rapid rate, owing to habitat destruction, trapping for food and the pet trade as well as the effects of introduced predators.

It normally breeds, often in dense colonies, on extremely small, wooded offshore islands and forages in situ or on adjacent mainland (or larger island) areas up to at least 500 m. It prefers uninhabited and remote islets with original forest vegetation, though these must be close enough to large areas of lowland rainforest which it requires for foraging.

Trapping for food, the pet trade and perhaps for their gizzard-stones is a serious threat. The clearance of small islands for plantations and the adjacent areas of lowland forest which it requires for foraging must have reduced numbers. Predation by rats Rattus spp., cats and other alien predators at nesting grounds can affect large numbers of birds due to the colonial nature of the species.

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I. Conservation Actions Proposed
Research population size and trends. Protect known breeding islands from clearance for plantations. Preserve areas of lowland forest close to breeding islands. Educate people who live close to breeding islands to prevent trapping for food and the pet trade. Eradicate rats Rattus spp., cats and other alien predators on particularly important breeding islands. Prevent further introductions of alien predators to breeding islands.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Gibbs, D.; Barnes, E.; Cox, J. 2001. Pigeons and doves: a guide to the pigeons and doves of the world. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, U.K.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

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
Benstead, P., Derhé, M., Mahood, S.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Caloenas nicobarica. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016.

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 - Nicobar pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Columbidae (Pigeons, Doves)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 476,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species