Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Pacific Imperial-pigeon (Ducula pacifica)


Taxonomy

French: Carpophage pacifique German: Tongafruchttaube Spanish: Dúcula del Pacífico
Other common names: Pacific Pigeon
Taxonomy:

Columba pacifica

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Tonga

.

Sometimes considered to include D. aurorae as a subspecies; these two are close relatives, and related also to D. oceanica and perhaps D. galeata. Proposed races tarrali (Vanuatu), intensitincta (Fiji) and microcera (Samoa) all considered to represent individual variation, and synonymized with nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. p. sejuncta Amadon, 1943 – Wuvulu I, Ninigo Is, Hermit Is and Kaniet Is (off W Bismarck Archipelago) and Schouten Is (off NE New Guinea).
  • D. p. pacifica (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – Louisiade Achipelago, S Solomons (Ndai, Rennell) and nearby Sikaiana S to Santa Cruz Is, Vanuatu, Loyalty Is and New Caledonia, and E to Tuvalu, Phoenix Is, Tokelau, Fiji (smaller islands), Wallis and Futuna, Samoa, Tonga, Niue I and Cook Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    36–41 cm, 370–420 g. Head and neck light grey, breast grey with pinkish cast; back, tail and wings blackish green; wing-lining slate-grey; undertail-coverts... read more

    Voice

    The advertising call is a five-note series ‘wooiip-pu pu po po’. Also produces four... read more

    Habitat

    On larger islands (e.g. in Samoa), found in montane rain forests up to at least 1000 m; on smaller... read more

    Food and feeding

    Amost entirely frugivorous, although young leaves and flowers are eaten on occasion. Studies on Tutuila (American Samoa) confirmed feeding... read more

    Breeding

    On Tutuila, nesting Jan–Sept, with most records from May–Aug. On 'Eua (S Tonga), recently fledged juveniles commonest in... read more

    Movements

    Has been reported to move between islands seasonally to exploit fruit crops. Also found on small,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Populations on many islands have declined significantly due to hunting and habitat loss. In Vanuatu, where species remains fairly common only in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W. & Horblit, H.M. (2018). Pacific Imperial-pigeon (Ducula pacifica). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/54372 on 9 December 2018).