Ducula cineracea 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Columbiformes Columbidae

Scientific Name: Ducula cineracea (Temminck, 1835)
Common Name(s):
English Timor Imperial-pigeon, Timor Imperial Pigeon, Timor Imperial-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. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Identification information: 39-45 cm . Large, dark, arboreal pigeon.  Head and neck bluish-grey, becoming darker slate-grey on upperparts, more mauve on breast and buffy on belly.  Reddish skin around eye, blackish bill.  Similar spp. Pink-headed Imperial-pigeon D. rosacea is green on upperparts, paler pinkish on head and underparts and has chestnut undertail-coverts.  White-throated Pigeon Columba vitiensis metallica (common on Gunung Mutis and surprisingly similar from below) is distinguished by its even darker plumage with purple and green gloss, particularly on upperparts.  Voice  A loud and unmistakeable short, rapid, quavering series of deep, muffled hu notes and deep disyllabic hoo-hoo call.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Trainor, C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Davidson, P., Taylor, J. & Tobias, J.
This pigeon occupies a small range and the population is experiencing a moderate and on-going decline.  It is likely to occur in more than 10 locations and is not severely fragmented.  The species has therefore been downlisted to Near Threatened; as it still approaches the requirements for listing as threatened under criterion B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v). 

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Timor-Leste, West Timor and Wetar, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia (BirdLife International 2001).  It is locally common, but presumed to be declining as available habitat continues to shrink.  On Timor-Leste there is relatively little suitable habitat remaining, but surveys of livestock damaged montane forest remnants on Mt. Mundo Perdido, Mt. Taroman and Mt. Tapo (c. 6,500 ha in total) have regularly recorded the species (BirdLife International 2009, C. Trainor in litt. 2016).  At Mt. Mundo Perdido, c. 1,500 ha of evergreen montane and cloud forest between 1,200 - 1,700 m elevation may well support several hundred individuals given the abundance of calling birds during dry season visits (C. Trainor in litt. 2016).  Additionally it has been described as frequent in coffee plantations in the Ermera area, including observations of a nest (C. Trainor in litt. 2016), at relatively low elevations: further survey of high altitude remnants is may reveal a larger population.  Regular observations have been made from Gunung Mutis in West Timor to at least 2015 (C. Trainor in litt. 2016).  The population on Wetar may account for a very high proportion of the global population (Trainor et al. 2009a,b), which has been crudely estimated at perhaps 10,000-20,000 birds (Trainor et al. 2009a).

Countries occurrence:
Indonesia (Lesser Sunda Is.); Timor-Leste
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:37600
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):2200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species is at least locally common, with a population of perhaps 1,000 individuals at one site with c. 20 km2 of suitable habitat in East Timor (C. Trainor in litt. 2007).  On Wetar, densities of 5-15 birds/ha have been recorded in gallery forest in Naumatang gorge at 100-200 m, and the island appears to support a very high proportion of the global population.  Overall, the total population has been crudely estimated at perhaps 10,000-20,000 birds, thus it is placed in the band 10,000-19,999 individuals.  This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  A moderate and on-going decline in this species's population size is suspected owing to hunting and continuing forest loss.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:6000-15000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:2Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:1-89

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is presumably resident, perhaps making local altitudinal movements, in montane forest and monsoon woodland.  It appears to occur between 600 m and 2,200 m on the island of Timor, whilst on Wetar the species has been recorded from sea-level to 930 m, being more frequent at higher elevations (Trainor et al. 2009a,b).  It is reportedly common in native eucalyptus forest.  On Wetar, the species has been seen most commonly in the canopy, but also occasionally in the mid-storey, 10-12 m above the ground (Trainor et al. 2009a,b).  It has been observed to feed in Canarium and nutmeg Myristica trees.  On Wetar, a stick nest was found 2.8 m above the ground in a low tree in a forested gulley in October 2008 (Trainor et al. 2009a).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):6.6
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The mountains of Timor-Leste were heavily deforested early in the 20th century, but habitat destruction has recently accelerated: an estimated 50% decline in remaining forest-cover occurred during Indonesian rule (1975-1999).  Monsoon-forests now only cover an estimated 4% of West Timor, scattered around seven unprotected patches that are continually declining in size due to continued illegal cutting, intensive grazing and burning (C. Trainor in litt. 2016).  In addition, pigeons are apparently hunted extensively in Timor-Leste and West Timor, a factor that has presumably contributed to the decline of this species.  On Wetar, the species occurs commonly down to the lowlands, thus its habitat is threatened by planned road construction, the expansion of mining activities and agricultural expansion, particularly driven by the cultivation of cash crops (Trainor et al. 2009a,b).  However, much of the island is difficult to access and unsuitable for agriculture and timber extraction (C. Trainor in litt. 2008),  providing hope that impacts will be limited.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation and Research Actions Underway
A 90,000-ha protected area has been established at Gunung Mutis.  Several other montane protected areas are proposed for West Timor and Wetar, although it is not known if these areas support the species.

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys in remaining montane and monsoon-forest to establish the current distribution and population status of the species (including on Wetar), its habitat requirements and altitudinal preferences, in order to develop an effective strategy for its conservation. Propose key sites for establishment as strict protected areas. Increase capacity on Wetar for studying the species and implementing conservation measures and protected areas in the future.

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Text edits were made to the Geographic Range and Threats fields, and the minimum elevation was changed to reflect the range across the entire distribution. A new Facilitator was added, and the references updated.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Ducula cineracea (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22691794A112410695. . Downloaded on 21 May 2018.
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