Author: Steadman, David W.; Freifeld, Holly B.
Title: The Food Habits of Polynesian Pigeons and Doves: A systematic and Biogeographic Review
Keywords: Columbidae; pigeon; doves; islands; Polynesia; frugivory; granivory; tropical forest; extinction; conservation
Abstract: Pigeons and doves (Aves: Columbidae) are represented in Polynesia by at least 30 species, of which nine are extinct and eight are endangered. Detailed, systematically collected data on diet (frugivory, granivory, omnivory) are lacking for most species of Polynesian columbids. Declines in species richness, taxonomic diversity, geographic distribution, and population size of columbids have occured in response to human activities over the past 3000 years. We suspect that these declines probably have limited the inter-and intra-island dispersal of seeds from plants eaten by columbidsn especially various forest trees. Except for perhaps seven species (Didunculus strigirostris, Ptilinopus perousii, P. porphyraceus, P. rarotengis, P. insularis, Ducula pacifica, D. latrans), the largely anecdotal dietary information now available is not sufficient for conservation purposes (e.g., translocation). This situation can be rectified only by conducting new field research, for which we offer recommendations.