Patagioenas leucocephala 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Columbiformes Columbidae

Scientific Name: Patagioenas leucocephala Linnaeus, 1758
Common Name(s):
English White-crowned Pigeon
Columba leucocephala BirdLife International (2004)
Columba leucocephala Stotz et al. (1996)
Columba leucocephala Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Butcher, G., Rosenberg, K., Wells, J. & Maisels, F.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Capper, D., Harding, M., Sharpe, C J & Wheatley, H.
This species is classified as Near Threatened because although it has quite a wide range, it is restricted to low-lying areas where deforestation and habitat degradation are most intense. Together with hunting pressure, this is thought to be causing a moderately rapid population reduction.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Patagioenas leucocephala is found primarily in the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica and Antigua. It breeds in smaller numbers in Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti), Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands (to USA), the Virgin Islands (to UK), San Andres (Colombia), Isla de Providencia and the Corn Islands (Nicaragua), Cayman Islands, Anguilla (to UK), St Barthelemy (to France), and more rarely on St Martin and Guadeloupe (to France) (Bancroft and Bowman 2001). Populations extend west along the Caribbean coasts of Yucatan Mexico, Belize, Honduras and north-west Panama. It reaches the USA only in the Florida Keys and the southern tip of mainland Florida (del Hoyo et al. 1997, Bancroft and Bowman 2001).

Countries occurrence:
Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Bahamas; Belize; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Cuba; Dominican Republic; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Puerto Rico; Saint Barthélemy; Saint Martin (French part); United States; United States Minor Outlying Islands; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.
Costa Rica; Dominica; Martinique; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:3470000
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):1500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Rich et al. (2003)

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be in decline overall owing to ongoing habitat degradation and unsustainable levels of hunting, although the small population in the USA is increasing (based on Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count data: Butcher and Niven 2007).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:100000-499999Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:In Florida, the Bahamas, the coastal Yucatan islets and the Lesser Antilles it requires isolated offshore mangrove islets with limited disturbance for breeding, for feeding it flies to humid evergreen or semi-deciduous hardwood forests on adjacent mainland areas (Bancroft and Bowman 2001, Gibbs et al. 2001). Elsewhere it generally occupies lower-lying forest habitats (Gibbs et al. 2001).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):6
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Degradation of foraging habitat is a threat to this species (del Hoyo et al. 1997). In Florida removal of poisonwood Metopium toxiferum, which can cause severe human dermatitis, affects the species as it feeds on the poisonwood's fruit (Bancroft and Bowman 2001, Gibbs et al. 2001). P. leucocephala is an important game species through much of its range, and although hunting regulations in the Bahamas have been changed, illegal hunting seems to be a threat (Bancroft and Bowman 2001). Collision with man-made objects is a major source of mortality in Florida, and pesticide use and human impact may also have detrimental effects (Bancroft and Bowman 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Listed on Annex III of the SPAW Protocol (2015).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Protect important breeding islets. Ensure protection of low-lying forests on larger islands where the species forages. Discourage removal of poisonwood where possible in Florida. Enforce hunting laws. Take measures to reduce collision with man-made objects. Educational programs that encourage people to plant native, fruit-producing trees in the Florida Keys should be enacted. Investigate the effects of pesticide use on the species. Monitor key populations throughout the species range.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Patagioenas leucocephala. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22690229A95214927. . Downloaded on 16 July 2018.
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