Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)


Santa Cruz Ground-dove (Alopecoenas sanctaecrucis)


French: Gallicolombe de Santa Cruz German: Santa-Cruz-Taube Spanish: Paloma perdiz de Santa Cruz

Gallicolumba sanctaecrucis


, 1935,

Tinakula, Santa Cruz Islands


Closely allied to A. stairi and †A. salamonis, and more distantly to the A. jobiensis group. Monotypic.


Santa Cruz Is (Tinakula; probably#R extinct on Utupua) and Vanuatu (Espiritu Santo). Historically, probably occurred on more islands (Banks Is, Torres Is, Vanikoro, Nendo, Reef Is and Duff Is)#R.

Descriptive notes

22–25 cm. Crown, nape, upper neck and upper back brown; rest of upperparts chocolate brown suffused glossy purple and with a large metallic violet-purple patch at bend... read more


Poorly documented. Advertising call a low-pitched fairly loud “woot”, monotonously repeated up to... read more


On Vanuatu, recorded in mid-elevation ancient rain forest up to c. 1000 m; despite exploration,... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on seeds, berries, and plant shoots, as well as insects and worms. Primarily terrestrial, although frequently perches on low branches... read more


No definite records, but local people report that the nest of this species resembles that of Chalcophaps indica; 1 white egg may... read more


No information on seasonal movements. Tends to flee on foot, but can fly swiftly when flushed; if... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Previously listed as Vulnerable. Recent information suggests the species may be extinct on Utupua. Currently known for certain only from Tinakula, ... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Christie, D.A., Kirwan, G.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Santa Cruz Ground-dove (Alopecoenas sanctaecrucis). 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 on 21 January 2020).