Archived 2010-2011 topics: Dark-tailed Laurel Pigeon (Columba bollii): downlist to Least Concern?

Link to current BirdLife species factsheet for Dark-tailed Laurel Pigeon

Dark-tailed Laurel Pigeon Columba bollii is endemic to the Canary Islands (Spain), where it occurs on Tenerife, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma. It is currently classified as Near Threatened under criteria B1 and C2 on the IUCN Red List, because when last assessed it was considered to have a very small range and a small declining population.

In recent years, these declines have abated. Although there is no quantitative trend data, the population is believed to have increased and spread over the last 20 years, as its Area of Occupancy has increased. Its distribution is closely linked to that of laurel forests (Martín et al. 2001; Lorenzo et al 2007). Commercial forestry has decreased markedly on all these islands, but has remained constant (at a low level) in Tenerife. Here, Canarian pine tree plantations are partly cleared (thinned), making them more suitable for the species. The abandonment of agriculture has in some areas led to regrowth of natural vegetation and recolonisation by C. bollii. Tenerife has also made a major effort to eradicate Monterey pine and replant with native species, which has further benefited the species.

C. bollii is now numerous on La Palma, La Gomera and Tenerife, while on El Hierro it still occurs in low numbers. In some areas, it remains vulnerable to illegal hunting, poisoning in vineyards and predation (Martin et al. 2001).

Evidence from the recent EU Species Action Plan Review (BirdLife International 2010) indicates that the extent and quality of the species’s habitat have continued to show positive trends. This suggests that the global status of this species ought to be revised to Least Concern. Comments on this proposal and are new information are welcome.

BirdLife International (2010) Species Action Plan Implementation Report: Dark-tailed Laurel Pigeon Columba bollii.

Lorenzo, J. A., ed. (2007) Atlas de las aves nidificantes en el archipiélago Canario (1997-2000). Dirección General de Conservación de la Naturaleza/SEO/BirdLife.

Martín, A., Hernández, M. A., Lorenzo, J. A., Nogales, M., & González, C. (2001) Las Palomas endémicas de Canarias. Conserjería de Medio Ambiente y SEO/BirdLife.

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1 Response to Archived 2010-2011 topics: Dark-tailed Laurel Pigeon (Columba bollii): downlist to Least Concern?

  1. Andy Symes says:

    Ana Iñigo (SEO) has commented:
    We don’t agree with the new proposal for the Canarias species, but, unfortunately we haven’t enough scientist references to argue your arguments. We have information, because we are working there, my colleagues in Tenerife knows the situation of the species, and over all the conservation problems that don’t stop, but not scientist evidences.

    Species, Columba bolli and junionae have increased its distribution area and abundance from the first species action plan until nowadays.

    Columba bolli has a better situation because logging and other forest practices and illegal hunting have stopped, but other conservation problems are still remaining, as predation or poison, and other new problems as virus infections. We think that it’s better to be cautious, and we consider that the species can be maintained as NT (B2ab(iii)c)

    Columba junionae has worst situation that C. bolli, we think that one explications of its increasing is that new areas or sites have been studied that were not previously confirmed, because we are evolving in ecology knowledge of the species. The pressure for predation is bigger than C. bolli because breeding in the ground (as example). We have to be more cautious. I would like to send you more details, and perhaps is necessary to review the information results in the workshop, but really we can not downlist this species. We propose to maintain as EN (B1ab (iii) + b2ab(iii)).

    BirdLife response:
    Columba species
    However, as pointed out in the topic above, revised information on the population trend for this species clearly indicates that it no longer qualifies as Near Threatened under the Red List categories and criteria. While the substantial body of data gathered for the SAP review indicates that, although some threats remain (as they do, of course, for almost every bird species), the status of this species has undergone a dramatic improvement in recent years. Should it decline again in the future it may once again be appropriate to classify itin a higher category of threat

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