Tuesday 21 May
Henderson fruit-dove (Ptilinopus insularis)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Henderson fruit-dove fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Henderson fruit-dove description
This colourful little pigeon is found only on a remote, uninhabited island in the South Pacific Ocean. Its forehead and crown are a bright crimson, narrowly bordered by golden-yellow. The head, neck, upper back and chest are a silvery-grey tinged with green, whilst the rest of the body is dark olive-green with a yellowish-green belly. The wing feathers are edged in yellow, and it has a yellow-green bill and red feet (2) (3). Juveniles can be identified by the lack of a crimson crown (2). Like other pigeons, the Henderson fruit-dove has a coarse cooing call (3).Top
Henderson fruit-dove biology
As suggested by its name, the Henderson fruit-dove is a frugivore and feeds on 19 species of fruit, which is nearly all the suitable fruit growing on Henderson island. It eats the fruit of Procis pedunculata, a member of the nettle family, most frequently (5). By eating the fruits of Henderson Island, this dove plays an important role in seed dispersal on the island (6).
The Henderson fruit-dove appears to be a territorial bird, defending an area containing fruit plants that they can eat when the fruit becomes seasonally available. There is almost no freshwater on Henderson Island, making life very difficult for the animals which live there, but the fruit-dove overcomes this problem by eating fruit with a very high water content (1).
There is not much information on the breeding behaviour of the Henderson fruit-dove, but it is thought that the breeding season is at the beginning of the year and that the female lays a single egg (1).Top
Henderson fruit-dove range
The Henderson fruit-dove is found only on Henderson Island, one of the four Pitcairn Islands (1). Henderson Island is a small uninhabited, raised-reef island in the south-central Pacific Ocean, with no major landmass within a 5,000 kilometres radius (4).Top
Henderson fruit-dove habitat
Inhabits forests with dense understorey, generally in the interior of the island (2).Top
Henderson fruit-dove status
Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Henderson fruit-dove threats
As Henderson Island is uninhabited, the Henderson fruit-dove is not threatened by the habitat degradation that frequently threatens other island species. However, because the Henderson fruit-dove is restricted to only one small island, it is very vulnerable to the accidental introduction of a pest species or disease, via unauthorized boats landing on the island. The Polynesian rat Rattus exulans has been introduced to the island without a negative affect on the Henderson fruit-dove, but there is concern that the introduction of other Rattus species, such as the black rat, could have devastating consequences.Top
Henderson fruit-dove conservation
Henderson Island was designated a World Heritage Site in 1988. Whilst the island is currently relatively undisturbed, a management plan has been drawn up with objectives such as preventing the introduction of exotic species, ensuring visitors do not damage the island in any way, and the introduction of a significant fee for stopping at Henderson (4). These measures will help ensure that the future of the Henderson fruit-dove is secure.Top
Find out more
For further information on the Henderson fruit-dove see:
Authenticated (08/05/08) by Dr Michael Brooke. Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge.Top
- A fruit eater.
- Describes an animal, a pair of animals or a colony that occupies and defends an area.
IUCN Red List (January, 2007)
- del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1997) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
Birdlife International (April, 2007)
UNEP-WCMC (April, 2007)
- Brooke, M. de L. and Jones, P.J. (1995) The diet of the Henderson fruit dove Ptilinopus insularis, field observations of fruit choice. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 56: 149-165.
- Procter, D. and Fleming, L.V. (1999) Biodiversity: the UK Overseas Territory. Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough.
More »Related species
Play the Team WILD game
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.