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Negros Fruit-dove Ptilinopus arcanus
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This species has not been recorded since the type specimen was collected in 1953, despite a number of recent protracted surveys. However, it may remain extant, given that there was an unconfirmed report in 2002, and given the shyness of fruit-doves. Further surveys are required on Panay where it may conceivably occur. Any remaining population is likely to be tiny, and undergoing a continuing decline owing to hunting and extensive habitat destruction. For these reasons, it is listed as Critically Endangered.

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.

16.5 cm. Known only by a single female specimen. Very small, vivid dark green fruit-dove. Sole specimen characterised by extensive, broad, yellow eye-ring, ashy-grey forehead and greyish-white throat, conspicuous yellow fringes to tertials and greater coverts forming rather narrow bar on folded wing, and yellow vent and undertail-coverts. Similar spp. Black-chinned Fruit-dove P. leclancheri is substantially larger, has rusty undertail-coverts, and no wing-bar and eye-ring. Voice Unknown.

Distribution and population
Ptilinopus arcanus is endemic to the Philippines, where it is known only by a single female specimen (one of a pair) collected on Mt Canlaon on the island of Negros in 1953 (Collar et al. 1999). Its population is unknown and, given the failure of any fieldworker to encounter it since its discovery, it must be extremely rare. However, the recent discovery on Panay of threatened species which, until 1990, were known only from Negros, and sometimes formerly Guimaras (e.g. Negros Bleeding-heart Gallicolomba keayi and White-throated Jungle-flycatcher Rhinomyias albigularis), suggests that it is not impossible that this enigmatic bird may be extant. Three birds that fit the species's description were reportedly shot by hunters in 1985 and 2008 in Mantiquil and near Mt Canlaon respectively (Collar and Lambert 2013). Fruit-doves in the Philippines are extremely shy, thus it is quite possible that even on Negros this species might be overlooked, and the extensive forests of Panay which have yet to be surveyed by experienced field-workers might harbour the species (R. Hutchinson in litt. 2013). 

Population justification
The population is assumed to be tiny (fewer than 50 individuals and mature individuals) based on a lack of records since the only specimen was collected in 1953.

Trend justification
Although this species and its habitat requirements are incredibly poorly known, it seems likely that - if it is still extant - its population is decreasing in line with habitat loss and degradation within its range.

The specimen was shot in a tall fruiting tree in primary forest at c. 1,100 m. It is possible that it is a lowland specialist discovered at its upper altitudinal limit (as forest at this site had been cleared up to 1,000 m).

A combination of hunting, which affects all pigeons and fruit-doves on Negros, and habitat destruction are presumably the major threats. Just 4% of Negros remained forested in 1988, and remnant tracts are small, heavily fragmented and under incessant pressure from clearance for agriculture, timber and charcoal-burning.

Conservation Actions Underway
The only record derives from Mt Canlaon Natural Park, which supports 115 km2 of mainly montane forest. Surveys in 1991, 1994 and more recently in 2010 failed to find the species (Collar and Lambert 2013). However the 2010 survey found that suitable forest patches remain in the area and larger pigeon species can still be found despite heavy hunting pressure. No other conservation measures are known to have been taken other than its depiction in the mid-1990s on a bilingual environmental education poster in the "Only in the Philippines" series.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Comprehensive and targeted surveys are required, using sound recording equipment (D. Allen in litt. 2012), within all suitable lowland to mid-montane habitat on Negros and Panay, to determine if this species is still extant. Carry out, if possible, biochemical analyses on the type-specimen to confirm its taxonomic validity. Increase the area of suitable habitat on Negros and Panay that receives formal protection. Monitor habitat trends on Negros and Panay through remote sensing.

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.

Collar, N.J. and Lambert, F.R. 2013. The elusive Negros Fruit Dove Ptilinopus arcanus sixty years on. BirdingASIA 19: 38-41.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)

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., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Lowen, J., Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Ashpole, J

Allen, D. & Hutchinson, R.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Ptilinopus arcanus. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

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 Critically Endangered
Family Columbidae (Pigeons, Doves)
Species name author Ripley & Rabor, 1955
Population size 1-49 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 120 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species