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 Goura scheepmakeri

This taxon is Not Recognised as a species by BirdLife International.

Taxonomic source(s)
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Taxonomic note
Goura scheepmakeri and G. sclaterii (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as G. scheepmakeri following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

75 cm. Huge, terrestrial pigeon with fan-like sagittal crest. Unpatterned pale grey crest and rich maroon breast. Similar spp. Hybridises with two parapatric congeners where their ranges meet: Victoria Crowned-pigeon G. victoria has white tips to crest and less maroon on lower breast, Western Crowned-pigeon G. cristata has plain grey underparts and maroon mantle and wing-coverts. Voice Foraging flocks communicate with quiet, resonating booms. Hints Usually only seen with the help of local guides in remote uninhabited areas.

Distribution and population
Goura scheepmakeri occurs in the southern lowlands of New Guinea, (Papua, formerly Irian Jaya, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea). It has not been recorded west of Etna Bay and is absent from much, if not all, of southern Trans-Fly (N. Stronach in litt. 1994) but ranges to the far east of New Guinea at Orangerie Bay (Coates 1985, Beehler et al. 1986, King and Nijboer 1994). Although it is rare or extirpated around most villages, it has a huge range and is still locally common in remote regions of Papua and Western and Gulf Provinces in Papua New Guinea (Beehler et al. 1994, K. D. Bishop in litt. 1994, 2000, I. Burrows in litt. 1994, P. Gregory in litt. 1994) and was found to be fairly common in the Lakekamu Basin even where hunted regularly (Beehler et al. 1994, B. Beehler in litt. 2012).

It inhabits undisturbed dry and flooded forest, often alluvial, in the lowlands to 500 m (Coates 1985, Beehler et al. 1986). It feeds on the ground in small flocks of 2-10 birds (historically up to 30 birds [Ramsay 1879]) and roosts in trees. Captive birds start breeding from 15 months old, lay a single egg, and tend to the fledgling for some months after hatching (King and Nijboer 1994).

This large species is prized by hunters for meat and, to a lesser extent, for its feathers (Beehler 1985). It has been hunted to extinction throughout much of its range in the south-east (Schodde 1978, Coates 1985, G. R. Kula in litt. 1988). It has become extirpated from the vicinity of some transmigration settlements in Papua where it had survived constant hunting from indigenous people (King and Nijboer 1994). However, the species is fairly difficult to hunt without a shotgun (which are essentially no longer available in New Guinea) as it flushes at considerable distance (c.40 m) and perches high in the middle-story, out of the reach of hunters with bows (B. Beehler in litt. 2012). The species was found to be fairly common in the Lakekamu Basin even where hunted regularly (Beehler et al. 1994, B. Beehler in litt. 2012), suggesting it may be able to tolerate some hunting pressure. Lowland forests, particularly on the flat terrain favoured by this species, are threatened by logging and the development of oil palm plantations, and although its tolerance of logged forest is poorly known, logging roads open up access to hunters (King and Nijboer 1994, I. Burrows in litt. 1994, P. Gregory in litt. 1994, B. Beehler in litt. 2012), as does oil and gas exploration in Papua (K. D. Bishop in litt. 1994, 2000). Capture for trade may be significant (King and Nijboer 1994).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Education and research programmes are planned in Papua New Guinea (King and Nijboer 1994). It is protected by law in Papua New Guinea. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey western extreme of range. Determine population size and density in study areas such as Lakekamu and Kikori Basins. Assess hunting levels through discussion with local hunters. Investigate population trends through discussion with local hunters. Ascertain tolerance of logged forest. Monitor numbers traded. Monitor population in study areas. Establish more community-based conservation areas in lowlands. Enforce protection in uninhabited reserve areas. Launch public awareness programmes to reduce hunting. Utilise as a flagship species in ecotourism ventures.

Beehler, B. 1985. Conservation of New Guinea rainforest birds. In: Diamond, A.W.; Lovejoy, T.E. (ed.), Conservation of tropical forest birds, pp. 233-247. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Beehler, B. M.; Burg, C. G.; Filardi, C.; Merg, K. 1994. Birds of the Lakekamu-Kunamaipa Basin. Muruk 6(3): 1-8.

Beehler, B. M.; Pratt, T. K.; Zimmerman, D. A. 1986. Birds of New Guinea. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Bell, H. L. 1967. Bird life of the Balimo sub-district, Papua. Emu 67: 57-79.

Coates, B. J. 1985. The birds of Papua New Guinea, 1: non-passerines. Dove, Alderley, Australia.

King, C. E.; Nijboer, J. 1994. Conservation considerations for crowned pigeons, genus Goura. Oryx 28: 22-30.

Ramsay, E. P. 1879. Contributions to the zoology of New Guinea. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 3: 241-305.

Schodde, R. 1978. The status of endangered Papuasian birds, and Appendix. In: Tyler, M.J. (ed.), The status of endangered Australasian wildlife, pp. 133-145 and 185-206 respectively. Royal Zoological Society of South Australia, Adelaide.

Toone, B.; Ellis Joseph, S.; Wirth, R.; Seal, U. S. 1994. Conservation assessment and management plan for pigeons and doves: report from a workshop held 10-13 March 1993, San Diego, U.S.A.

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

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Bird, J., Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., Stattersfield, A.

Beehler, B., Bishop, K., Burrows, I., Gregory, P., Kula, G., Stronach, N.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Goura scheepmakeri. Downloaded from on 02/07/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 02/07/2015.

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 - Southern crowned-pigeon (Goura scheepmakeri) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Not Recognised
Family Columbidae (Pigeons, Doves)
Species name author Finsch, 1876