Christmas imperial pigeon

The Christmas imperial pigeon, (Ducula whartoni), is a large (39 cm in length, 450-700 g in weight) pigeon, mainly dark grey in colour with an iridescent sheen.

Christmas imperial pigeon
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Ducula
D. whartoni
Binomial name
Ducula whartoni
(Sharpe, 1887)
  • Ducula rosacea whartoni
  • Carpophaga whartoni

Distribution and habitat

The species is endemic to Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. It inhabits rainforest and secondary growth with fruiting trees.



Fruit from forest trees with occasional buds and leaves.


It builds a platform nest of twigs high in a forest tree.


It utters a deep booming call.


The Christmas imperial pigeon was classified as "vulnerable" because of its small population and restricted distribution until 2012, when it was downgraded to near threatened".[2] Threats include illegal hunting and predation by introduced yellow crazy ants Anoplolepis gracilipes.

See also


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2013). "Ducula whartoni". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Recently recategorised species". Birdlife International (2012). Archived from the original on 14 September 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2012.

External links

Christmas Island

The Territory of Christmas Island is an Australian external territory comprising the island of the same name. Christmas Island is located in the Indian Ocean, around 350 kilometres (220 mi) south of Java and Sumatra and around 1,550 kilometres (960 mi) north-west of the closest point on the Australian mainland. It has an area of 135 square kilometres (52 sq mi).

Christmas Island had a population of 1,843 residents as of 2016, the majority of whom live in settlements on the northern tip of the island. The main settlement is Flying Fish Cove. Around two-thirds of the island's population is estimated to have Malaysian Chinese origin (though just 21.2% of the population declared a Chinese ancestry in 2016), with significant numbers of Malays and European Australians as well as smaller numbers of Malaysian Indians and Eurasians. Several languages are in use, including English, Malay, and various Chinese dialects. Islam and Buddhism are major religions on the island, though a vast majority of the population does not declare a formal religious affiliation and may be involved in ethnic Chinese religion.The first European to sight the island was Richard Rowe of the Thomas in 1615. The island was later named on Christmas Day (25 December) 1643 by Captain William Mynors but only settled in the late 19th century. Its geographic isolation and history of minimal human disturbance has led to a high level of endemism among its flora and fauna, which is of interest to scientists and naturalists. The majority (63 percent) of the island is included in the Christmas Island National Park, which features several areas of primary monsoonal forest. Phosphate, deposited originally as guano, has been mined on the island since 1899.

Fauna of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands

The terrestrial fauna of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands is unsurprisingly depauperate, because of the small land area of the islands, their lack of diverse habitats, and their isolation from large land-masses. However, the fauna dependent on marine resources is much richer.

Imperial pigeon

Ducula is a major genus of the pigeon family Columbidae, collectively known as imperial pigeons. They are large to very large pigeons with a heavy build and medium to long tails. They are arboreal, feed mainly on fruit and are closely related to the other genus of fruit-eating doves, Ptilinopus. Both genera display brightly coloured plumage, predominantly green, often with contrasting under-parts of purple, orange or red. Some Ducula have prominently swollen ceres. They have large gapes and swallow seeds whole, playing an important role in seed dispersal.Imperial pigeons are found in forests of southern Asia, New Guinea, northern Australia and the Pacific islands. Many species are nomadic, travelling long distances to exploit seasonal fruit sources. Some undertake migrations and all are strong fliers. Because of habitat loss and predation, species of Ducula are amongst the most threatened of avian species globally.

List of Columbiformes by population

This is a list of Columbiformes species by global population. While numbers are estimates, they have been made by the experts in their fields. For more information on how these estimates were ascertained, see Wikipedia's articles on population biology and population ecology.

This list is not comprehensive, as not all Columbiformes have had their numbers quantified.

List of birds by common name

In this list of birds by common name, a total of 9,722 extant and recently extinct bird species are recognised, belonging to a total of 204 families.

List of birds of Australia

This is a list of the wild birds found in Australia including its outlying islands and territories, but excluding the Australian Antarctic Territory. The outlying islands covered include: Christmas, Cocos (Keeling), Ashmore, Torres Strait, Coral Sea, Lord Howe, Norfolk, Macquarie and Heard/McDonald. The list includes introduced species, common vagrants and recently extinct species. It excludes extirpated introductions, some very rare vagrants (seen once) and species only present in captivity. Nine hundred and fifty extant and extinct species are listed.

There have been three comprehensive accounts: the first was John Goulds Birds of Australia, the second Gregory Mathews, and third was the Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds (1990-2006).

The taxonomy followed is from Christidis and Boles, 2008. Their system has been developed over nearly two decades and has strong local support, but deviates in important ways from more generally accepted schemes.

List of birds of Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica

This list is based on the Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds list, May 2002 update, with the doubtfuls omitted. It includes the birds of Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica, and the surrounding ocean and subantarctic islands.

Australian call-ups are based on the List of Australian birds.

New Zealand call-ups are based on the List of New Zealand birds.

List of birds of Christmas Island

The Birds of Christmas Island form a heterogeneous group of over 100 species. There is a core group of ten endemics that have evolved on the remote island in the eastern Indian Ocean for thousands of years, attended by a suite of regular migrants, opportunists and occasional visitors. Some 200 km from the nearest land, Java, Christmas Island was not occupied by humans until the late 19th century. It is now an Australian territory. The natural vegetation of most of the 140 km² island is rainforest, to which the endemic landbirds are adapted, while the seabirds have taken advantage of a breeding location which had no major natural predators.

After over a century of human exploitation of the phosphate deposits covering much of the island, two thirds of the rainforest cover remains and is now protected as a national park. However, gaps where the forest has been cleared, and the introduction of exotic fauna, continue to destabilise the island’s biological diversity. The endemic Abbott's booby is threatened when nesting by wind turbulence caused by past forest clearance. However, the biggest immediate threat is the introduction and spread of yellow crazy ants, through both direct predation and ecosystem collapse. This has led to all the island’s endemic bird species and subspecies being classified as Critically Endangered.

Meanwhile, the number of species recorded from Christmas Island continues to increase as birders, especially from Australia, attracted by the island’s endemics, record a variety of vagrants previously unnoticed. Some of these may in time, as with the white-breasted waterhen, establish breeding populations. Christmas Island is now seen as a birding ‘hot spot’, not only for its endemics but also for the chance of recording new species for the Australian bird list, something reflected in the frequency of submissions of sightings to the Birds Australia Rarities Committee.

List of endemic birds of Australia

This article is one of a series providing information about endemism among birds in the world's various zoogeographic zones. For an overview of this subject see Endemism in birds.

List of near threatened birds

As of May 2019, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 1012 near threatened avian species. 9.3% of all evaluated avian species are listed as near threatened.

No subpopulations of birds have been evaluated by the IUCN.

This is a complete list of near threatened avian species evaluated by the IUCN. Where possible common names for taxa are given while links point to the scientific name used by the IUCN.

List of wild pigeon species

The International Ornithological Congress (IOC) recognizes 344 species in family Columbidae, the pigeons and doves. This list is presented according to the IOC taxonomic sequence and can also be sorted alphabetically by common name and binomial. It includes 13 extinct species. For a list of domesticated varieties, see List of pigeon breeds.

The IOC breeding range descriptions use the following abbreviations for continents and other major geographic areas.

AF: Africa

AU: Australasia (New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, and the Bismarck Archipelago)

EU: Eurasia (Europe and Asia to the Oriental Region boundary)

IO: Indian Ocean

MA: Middle America

NA: North America

OR: Oriental region (South Asia from Pakistan to Taiwan, southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Greater Sundas)

PO: Polynesia (including Caroline and Mariana Islands)

SA: South America


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.