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Makatea Fruit-dove Ptilinopus chalcurus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is classified as Vulnerable because of its very small population and range, which place it at risk from chance events and human impacts.

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.

20 cm. Small, mostly green pigeon with few prominent markings. Dark purple crown and forehead. Pale greenish-grey throat and chest, cloven lower chest feathers producing rows of shadows that appear as streaks. Yellow underparts, tinged orange anteriorly. Wing feathers edged yellow.

Distribution and population
Ptilinopus chalcurus is endemic to Makatea in the Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia, where it was found to be common in 1972 and 1986-1987 (Thibault and Guyot 1987), and may now even be increasing slightly owing to the cessation of mining activities (P. Raust in litt. 2007). The population was broadly estimated at 250-999 individuals based on density estimates for congeners in 2004. A survey in 2009 estimated the total population size at 444-2,219 individuals, based on density estimates (Albar et al. 2009, 2010).

Population justification
Albar et al. (2010) estimated the population to number 444-2,219 individuals in 2009. This is roughly equivalent to 290-1,500 mature individuals.

Trend justification
Although much forest was destroyed during the period 1917-1964, as a result of phosphate mining, the indigenous vegetation has recovered over the last 40 years and it appears that the mining did not change either the distribution or abundance of the species (Holyoak and Thibault 1984; Seitre and Seitre 1991). Given that other threats are few, and that the species is tolerant of degraded habitat, the population is presumed to be stable.

It is found in all wooded habitats as well as dense forest in the south of the island, and is also present near villages (Holyoak and Thibault 1984). It probably takes fruit from a wide variety of trees (Holyoak and Thibault 1984).

Although much forest was destroyed during the period 1917-1964, as a result of phosphate mining, the indigenous vegetation has recovered over the last 40 years and it appears that the mining did not change either the distribution or abundance of the species (Holyoak and Thibault 1984, Seitre and Seitre 1991). However, Makatea is being considered for new mining activities, which may further affect the birds (Albar et al. 2010). There is no hunting or disturbance (given that the human population is low) (P. Raust in litt. 1999). Predation by introduced rats (particularly black rat Rattus rattus) may be a problem (Seitre and Seitre 1991) although the species has coexisted with rats for several decades (J.-C. Thibault in litt. 2000).

Conservation Actions Underway
Work was carried out in 2009 by Société d’Ornithologie de Polynésie Manu to determine the population size of the species through distance sampling (Albar et al. 2009, 2010).Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor the population. Assess the threat posed by introduced species. Consider captive breeding and translocation.

Albar, G.; Dylan C. Kesler, D. C.; Gouni, A. 2010. Observations and status of birds of Makatea and Niau Islands, Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia..

Albar, G.; Gouni, A.; Kesler, D.; Autai, T.; Serra, C.; Faulquier, L. 2009. Etude de l'avifaune endémique de l'île de Makatea (archipel des Tuamotu, Polynésie française).

Holyoak, D. T.; Thibault, J. -C. 1984. Contribution à l'étude des oiseaux de Polynésie orientale. Memoires du Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle - Serie A: Zoologie 127: 1-209.

Seitre, R.; Seitre, J. 1991. Causes de disparition des oiseaux terrestres de Polynésie Française. South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Nouméa.

Thibault, J. -C.; Guyot, I. 1987. Recent changes in the avifauna of Makatea Island (Tuamotus, Central Pacific). Atoll Research Bulletin 300: 1-13.

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
Derhé, M., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., Pilgrim, J., Stattersfield, A.

Raust, P., Thibault, J., Kesler, D.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Ptilinopus chalcurus. 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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Columbidae (Pigeons, Doves)
Species name author Gray, 1859
Population size 290-1500 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 25 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species