Monday, 26 January 2015

Seychelles blue-pigeon

Alectroenas pulcherrimus

Photo by Conrad Savy (iNaturalist)

Common name:
Seychelles blue-pigeon (en); pombo-azul-das-Seychelles (pt); founingo rougecap (fr);  paloma azul de Seychelles (es); warzenfruchttaube (de)

Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

This species is endemic to the Seychelles archipelago, in the Indian Ocean, being found on the islands of Praslin, La Digue, Mahé, North, Silhouette, Frigate, Curieuse, Denis, Aride and Bird. It has also been successfully introduced to the island of Cousin.

These birds are 24-25 cm long and have a wingspan of 38-40 cm. They weigh 160-165 g.

The Seychelles blue-pigeon is found in tropical rainforests, both in lowland and in mountainous areas.

They feed on fruits, berries and seeds, namely wild guavas Psidium, cinnamon berries and nuts of takamaka Calophyllum tacamahaca.

These birds breed mainly in October-April, but can breed all year round. The female builds the nest alone, consisting of a loose platform of twigs placed in a tree or scrub, where she lays 1-2 eggs. The eggs are incubated for about 28 days and the chicks fledge about 21 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a small breeding range and is considered to be less common than in the past. The population is suspected to be declining due to hunting and habitat destruction, but since the 1970s they stopped to be exploited for food, which allowed the recovery of some populations and even the recolonization of the islands of Curieuse, Denis, Aride and Bird. Nest predation by introduced rats and cats may also be a problem for this species.

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