Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Columbiformes Columbidae

Scientific Name: Columba bollii
Species Authority: Godman, 1872
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Dark-tailed Laurel-pigeon, Bolle's Pigeon, Bolle's Laurel Pigeon
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.
Identification information: 36 cm. Large dark grey pigeon. Mainly dark grey with blacker flight feathers and paler grey tail with dark terminal band, hindneck with green and pink gloss and reddish tinge to breast. Red bill and yellow eye. Similar: Only likely to be confused with White-tailed Laurel Pigeon C. junoniae or dark Feral Pigeon.Voice: Guttural mournful cooing. Hints: Look for birds flying low and fast over laurel forest.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Iñigo, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Peet, N., Capper, D., O'Brien, A., Taylor, J., Bird, J.
This species is listed as Least Concern on the basis of evidence indicating that the its range and population are increasing and may have been recovering over the last two decades at least. Although it has a very small range and probably a small to moderately small population, it is showing positive trends, it is not restricted to 10 locations or less and its population comprises more than one sub-population, all of which probably exceed 1,000 individuals, and is not severely fragmented, thus it no longer approaches the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN criteria.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2011 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Near Threatened (NT)
2004 Near Threatened (NT)
2000 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Vulnerable (VU)
1988 Threatened (T)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Columba bollii occurs on Tenerife (more than 2,000 individuals (Martín and Lorenzo 2001), particularly at Anaga and Teno), La Palma (more than 3,000 birds (Martín and Lorenzo 2001) in a restricted area of the north-east), La Gomera (over 1,000 in Garajonay National Park with some birds outside the park) and El Hierro (where it occupies the whole of Golfo and Sabinosa) in the Canary Islands, Spain. It may formerly have occurred on Gran Canaria, as bones similar to those of a laurel pigeon have been found and there is a possible sight record from the late 19th century. It was common in the past, but disappeared from many areas owing to clearance of laurel forest in the islands. More recently the rate of laurel forest clearance has been slowed or stopped. Population estimates for the species are 1,160-1,315 birds in 1980, 6,000 individuals in 2001, and 5,000-20,000 most recently. Whether these figures reveal genuine population increases is unclear, but the area of occupied territory appears to be expanding and despite several potential threats the population is at least stable, probably increasing.
Countries occurrence:
Spain (Canary Is.)
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 3400
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In 2007, the species was estimated by SEO (Sociedad Española de Ornitología/BirdLife in Spain) to number 5,000-20,000 individuals, roughly equivalent to 3,300-13,000 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  The species's population is suspected to have recovered over at least the last 20 years (BirdLife International 2010), with evidence for this coming from increases in population estimates and the extent and quality of suitable habitat.

For further information about this species, see 22690117_columba_bollii.pdf.
A PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader is required.
Current Population Trend: Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 3300-13000 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
No. of subpopulations: 2-100 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs in dense laurel forest in mountainous areas, especially in ravines; also in heath of Myrica faya and Erica arborea, and sometimes in rather open areas, e.g. cultivation. It spends the hottest part of the day in deep shade. It feeds mainly on fruit but also takes grain and occasionally buds, leaves and shoots. It will gather in large concentrations on fruiting trees, plucking berries from the tree but also feeding on the ground. Breeding occurs in January-September. It makes some altitudinal movements to take advantage of ripe cereals and fruit at lower elevations in late summer.

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 5.6
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Historical declines resulted from intensive exploitation of laurel forests. The extent of forest loss has slowed, although fragmentation has continued in some areas as forests are exploited for poles and tool handles. A small amount of illegal hunting occurs at drinking sites. As it is a tree-nesting species, predation by introduced mammals including rats is of less significance than for C. junoniae but it remains a potential threat, the impact of which has not been fully assessed (Hernández et al. 1999). Grazing pressure from sheep is leading to habitat degradation on La Gomera and at El Hierro. Forest fires also pose a moderate threat to its habitat (BirdLife International 2010). Recreational activities cause some disturbance in the breeding season. The species is potentially threatened by outbreaks of Newcastle Disease and Tuberculosis (BirdLife International 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
A European action plan was published in 1996. The majority of areas inhabited by this species are now protected under regional or national law (BirdLife International 2010). Hunting has only been a residual threat since hunting-free zones (coinciding with reserves) were implemented. The restoration of pine forest and thermophile forest is still pending full implementation. As part of a LIFE project (2005-2008), work has been carried out to eradicate exotic plant species, plant native species, raise public awareness and increase knowledge of the survival of different native species present in thermophilous forests. Tenerife has undertaken a major effort in eradicating Monterey pine and replanting with native species. Also in Tenerife, Canarian pine tree plantations are partly cleared (thinned) which makes them more suitable for the species. Some islands have rat control plans in place (BirdLife International 2010).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue to monitor the population and potential threats. Protect remaining areas of laurel forest. Establish an invasive species control plan. Implement awareness-raising campaigns.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Columba bollii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22690117A38886901. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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