Alectroenas nitidissimus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Columbiformes Columbidae

Scientific Name: Alectroenas nitidissimus
Species Authority: (Scopoli, 1786)
Common Name(s):
English Mauritius Blue-pigeon, Mauritius Blue-Pigeon
Alectroenas nitidissima
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: Alectroenas nitidissimus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously listed as A. nitidissima.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2012-06-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Brooks, T., Khwaja, N., Mahood, S. & Symes, A.
This species was found on Mauritius, but it has been hunted to extinction. The last reports date from 1832 and it is thought to have been Extinct a few years later.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2012 Extinct (EX)
2008 Extinct (EX)
2004 Extinct (EX)
2000 Extinct (EX)
1994 Extinct (EX)
1988 Extinct (EX)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Alectroenas nitidissimus is known only from three skins (Cheke 1987) and a number of descriptions and paintings (Tuijn 1969, Cheke 1987), from Mauritius (Cowles 1987). It was first described by Harmansz in 1602, and persisted for more than two centuries thereafter. Milbert, writing in 1812, noted that he ate many in 1801, and Desjardins reported in 1832 that birds were "still found towards the centre of the island in the middle of those fine forests which by their remoteness, have escaped the devestating axe". The last specimen was collected in 1826, however, it seems to have persisted into the early 1830s (Cheke 1987).

Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
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.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Very little is known, although it evidently inhabited the island's forests, although there is a curious reference provided by Desjardins to it living alone near riverbanks where it fed on fruit and freshwater molluscs.

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Hunting and habitat loss presumably caused the species's extinction.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:No
  Occur in at least one PA:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:No
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope: Whole (>90%) ♦ severity: Unknown  
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.3. Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale)
♦ timing: Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope: Whole (>90%) ♦ severity: Unknown  
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Cheke, A.S. 1987. An ecological history of the Mascarene Islands, with particular reference to extinctions and introductions of land vertebrates. In: Diamond, A.W. (ed.), Studies of Mascarene island birds, pp. 5-89. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.

Cowles, G. S. 1987. The fossil record. In: Diamond, A.W. (ed.), Studies of Mascarene Island birds, pp. 90-100. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.

IUCN. 2014. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. Available at: (Accessed: 24 July 2014).

Tuijn, P. 1969. Notes on the extinct pigeon from Mauritius, Alectroenas nitidissima (Scopoli 1786). Beaufortia 16: 163-170.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2014. Alectroenas nitidissimus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T22691601A62723447. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
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