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Mauritius Blue-pigeon Alectroenas nitidissimus

Justification
This species was found on Mauritius, but it has been hunted to extinction. The last reports date from 1832 and it is thought to have been Extinct a few years later.

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.

Taxonomic note
Alectroenas nitidissimus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously listed as A. nitidissima.

Synonym(s)
Alectroenas nitidissima

Distribution and population
Alectroenas nitidissimus is known only from three skins (Cheke 1987) and a number of descriptions and paintings (Tuijn 1969, Cheke 1987), from Mauritius (Cowles 1987). It was first described by Harmansz in 1602, and persisted for more than two centuries thereafter. Milbert, writing in 1812, noted that he ate many in 1801, and Desjardins reported in 1832 that birds were "still found towards the centre of the island in the middle of those fine forests which by their remoteness, have escaped the devestating axe". The last specimen was collected in 1826, however, it seems to have persisted into the early 1830s (Cheke 1987).

Ecology
Very little is known, although it evidently inhabited the island's forests, although there is a curious reference provided by Desjardins to it living alone near riverbanks where it fed on fruit and freshwater molluscs.

Threats
Hunting and habitat loss presumably caused the species's extinction.

Related state of the world's birds case studies

References
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.

Cowles, G. S. 1987. The fossil record. In: Diamond, A.W. (ed.), Studies of Mascarene Island birds, pp. 90-100. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 June 2012).

Tuijn, P. 1969. Notes on the extinct pigeon from Mauritius, Alectroenas nitidissima (Scopoli 1786). Beaufortia 16: 163-170.

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. & Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Alectroenas nitidissimus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/07/2014.

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 Extinct
Family Columbidae (Pigeons, Doves)
Species name author (Scopoli, 1786)
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species