Ducula cineracea


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Ducula cineracea
Species Authority: (Temminck, 1835)
Common Name(s):
English Timor Imperial-pigeon, Timor Imperial Pigeon, Timor Imperial-Pigeon

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
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 is listed as Endangered because it occupies a very small range, which is suffering severe habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, such that continuing population declines are likely. In 2008 and 2009 it was recorded from several new locations, thus the species is likely to qualify for downlisting in the near future.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Ducula cineracea 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. Recent observations have revealed a stable population on Gunung Mutis in West Timor. It was recently described as frequent in coffee plantations in the Ermera area of Timor-Leste, although little time has yet been spent surveying at appropriate altitudes for this mostly montane species (Trainor et al. undated). The species was also recorded during surveys of Mt. Mundo Perdido, Timor-Leste, in 2009 (BirdLife International 2009). 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).

Indonesia; Timor-Leste
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.
Population Trend: Decreasing

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).

Systems: Terrestrial

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 intensive grazing and burning. 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 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 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.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Ducula cineracea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 05 March 2015.
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