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Rapa Fruit-dove

RAPA FRUIT-DOVE

Photo Caroline Blanvillain


APPEARANCE AND IDENTIFICATION

12 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. It is a big bird. A rose patch extends from the crown to the chin. The belly is pink on the front and yellow at the rear. The feathers are pink. The neck, back, cheeks, throat and chest are white-green. All the rest of the body is green. The large tail feathers and wings are blue-green with a yellow outline. The beak is yellow and the legs are burgundy.

Order: Columbiformes

Family: Columbidae

Category: Endemic Birds


LOCATION

Endemic to Rapa.


CHARACTERISTICS

Once present on wooded hills and on peaks, it now lives in areas of dense forests on high altitude (40-450 meters). Appreciates tropical pines (Pinus sp.).

This bird is cooing on a single tone “hoo, hoo, hoo …” or long note followed by 3-4 slower notes and accelerated notes « ooo-o-o-o, oo, oo, oo, o, o, o, o, o, o, o ».

To listen the Rapa Fruit-dove:
http://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Ptilinopus-huttoni

Eats fruits and their nectar. Berries and fleshy fruits of guava (Psidium guajava), Coffee tree (Coffea arabica) and endemic species of the island (Meryta sp., Omalanthus stokesii, Oparanthus rapensis), rata flower nectar (Metrosideros collina).

Young birds and nests visible from December to April.

Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.

Bibliography:
https://inpn.mnhn.fr/espece/cd_nom/418841
http://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/species.jsp?avibaseid=0D3C62C981827B4F
http://www.oiseaux.net/oiseaux/ptilope.de.hutton.html
http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/rapa-fruit-dove-ptilinopus-huttoni
http://www.hbw.com/ibc/species/rapa-fruit-dove-ptilinopus-huttoni
https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22691470/131333951

NAMES

Scientific Name: Ptilinopus huttoni  Finsch, 1874

Polynesian Names:
Koko (Rapa)

LOCATION
  • Austral: Rapa only

STATUS AND PROTECTION

Victim of disappearance and fragmentation of forests in Rapa, its numbers was estimated at 160 individuals in 2018.
The species is endangered of extinction, it would be important to establish a reserve on Rapa Island to save their habitat from destruction by cattle and goats and consider its establishment on a second island of the Pacific. The unique habitat is found nowhere else in the Austral, making this task quite difficult to achieve.

The species is listed in category A, on the list of species protected by the territorial regulations of French Polynesia.
The species is classified as “Endangered” (EN) on the France and Polynesia 2015 UICN Red List.
It is now classified as « Critically Endangered » (CR) on the IUCN Red List.