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Cream-bellied Fruit-dove Ramphiculus merrilli
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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Although formerly thought to be scarce, this species has been found to be locally common and may just be greatly overlooked; however habitat loss and hunting have undoubtedly caused this species to decline moderately rapidly, and it is therefore listed as Near Threatened.

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.

Taxonomic note
Ramphiculus merrilli (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Ptilinopus.

Ptilinopus merrilli (McGregor, 1916)

Distribution and population
Ptilinopus merrilli is endemic to Luzon and to two of its satellites, Polillo and Catanduanes, Philippines, where it occurs as two races, faustinoi north of Quiriñon and nominate merrilli south of Quiriñon (Collar et al. 1999). Despite being considered rare, nomadic and under pressure from hunting, the total number of localities for the species is at least 24 and it appears to be fairly common, even in ultrabasic forest, and in 1996 it was found to be abundant on Patnanungan island in the Polillo group. It may prove to be substantially overlooked.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as locally and generally rare although locally common in the Sierra Madre and on Patnanungan island (Gibbs et al. 2001).

Trend justification
The species is suspected to be declining at a slow to moderate rate, owing to hunting and habitat loss.

This frugivorous species is found chiefly in primary and selectively logged forest up to 1,300 m in the Sierra Madre (Gibbs et al. 2001). One nest was found in May 1997 and contained a single egg (Gibbs et al. 2001).

Habitat destruction (presumably through logging and agricultural expansion) and hunting pressure are substantial threats.

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to assess population size. Regularly monitor at certain sites throughout its range to determine population trends. Control hunting where possible, perhaps using awareness campaigns. Protect significant areas of suitable primary forest across its range.

Collar, N. J.; Mallari, N. A. D.; Tabaranza, B. R. J. 1999. Threatened birds of the Philippines: the Haribon Foundation/BirdLife International Red Data Book. Bookmark, Makati City.

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., Mahood, S., Taylor, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Ramphiculus merrilli. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016.

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 (McGregor, 1916)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 63,300 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species