Columba torringtoniae 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Columbiformes Columbidae

Scientific Name: Columba torringtoniae
Species Authority: (Blyth & Kelaart, 1853)
Common Name(s):
English Sri Lanka Woodpigeon, Ceylon Wood-Pigeon, Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon
Columba torringtoni BirdLife International (2000)
Columba torringtoni Collar and Andrew (1988)
Columba torringtoni BirdLife International (2004)
Columba torringtoni Collar et al. (1994)
Columba torringtoni BirdLife International (2006)
Columba torringtoni Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
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.
Taxonomic Notes: Use of the specific name torringtoniae follows Pittie and Dickinson (2006).

Identification information: 36 cm. Medium-sized, dark pigeon. Adult has slate-grey upperparts, wings and tail and lilac-grey head, neck and underparts with darker, purplish-grey breast. Black hindneck with white stippling and purplish gloss on mantle, sides of neck and breast. Similar spp. Green Imperial Pigeon Ducula aenea is larger, lacks black-and-white neck pattern, has metallic green upperparts and maroon undertail-coverts. Voice Mainly silent, but has a deep, owl-like hoo in courtship display.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v);C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Crosby, M., Peet, N., Taylor, J.
This pigeon has a small, declining, population and range, which are severely fragmented as a result of the destruction of hill and montane forest. It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Vulnerable (VU)
2006 Vulnerable (VU)
2004 Vulnerable (VU)
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Vulnerable (VU)
1988 Threatened (T)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Columba torringtoniae is endemic to Sri Lanka, where it occurs in the mountains of the centre of the island and the adjacent foothills of the wet zone (BirdLife International 2001). Its population size and trends are unclear but it appears to have declined and become increasingly fragmented since the mid 20th century, becoming uncommon in the central mountains. It is unlikely that the population numbers more than a few thousand individuals.

Countries occurrence:
Sri Lanka
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 5000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 6-10
Continuing decline in number of locations: Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 900
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to be unlikely to number more than a few thousand individuals based on recent records and surveys. It is placed in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals here, equating to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend Justification:  This species's population size and trends are unclear but it appears to have declined and become increasingly fragmented since the mid 20th century, becoming uncommon in the central mountains. Based on this information, the species is suspected to be suffering a moderate and on-going decline overall.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 2500-9999 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
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
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation: 1-89

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs in hill and montane forest, generally above c.900 m, but it sometimes descends as low as 300 m in the lowland forests of the wet zone. It is arboreal and frugivorous, making movements in response to the availability of fruiting trees, and has frequently been recorded at fruiting trees outside forest. Nesting is from January-March and again from August-October, in tall forest trees.

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threat is the extensive clearance and degradation of forests, particularly in the wet zone, through logging, fuelwood-collection, conversion to agriculture and tree plantations, gem mining, settlement and fire. Some protected forests continue to be degraded and suffer further fragmentation. It has also suffered reductions in food supply because of replacement of natural forests, containing fruiting trees, with monoculture plantations. Forest die-back in the montane region, perhaps a result of air pollution, is a potential threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
It is legally protected in Sri Lanka. A moratorium was passed in 1990 to protect wet zone forests from logging. It occurs in several national parks and forest reserves, most notably Sinharaja National Heritage Wilderness Area. A survey of the biodiversity of 200 forest sites was carried out from 1991-1996.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct a comprehensive survey in order to produce management recommendations for this species in conservation forests and other protected areas. Research its ecology, particularly seasonal movements in response to food availability. Encourage protection of important areas of forest holding this and other threatened species, including proposals to designate conservation forests, and ensure their effective management. Maintain the current ban on logging of wet zone forests. Promote programmes to create awareness of the value of biological resources amongst local communities.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Columba torringtoniae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22690178A37958713. . Downloaded on 25 November 2015.
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