Mindoro bleeding-heart (Gallicolumba platenae)

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Mindoro bleeding-heart, rear view
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Mindoro bleeding-heart fact file

Mindoro bleeding-heart description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderColumbiformes
FamilyColumbidae
GenusGallicolumba (1)

A distinctive but rare bird, the last confirmed sighting of the Mindoro bleeding-heart in the wild was in 1997 (3). This medium-sized ground dove is named for the small, yet distinct, orange patch on its whitish breast, although this looks less like a ‘bleeding-heart’ than in other Gallicolumba species, which have a blood-red patch. The Mindoro bleeding-heart has rich, dark chestnut upperparts, with a reddish-purple gloss on the back and shoulder feathers (4). The dark grey forehead shimmers with a touch of green (2) and the bluish-grey tail contrasts with its chestnut rump (4).

Size
Length: 27 cm (2)
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Mindoro bleeding-heart biology

Little is known about the elusive Mindoro bleeding-heart. It spends most of its life on the forest floor, concealing itself in dense vegetation, and is therefore very difficult to observe (2). Its diet is not fully known, but it has been seen feeding at a fruiting fig tree (2). The nest of the Mindoro bleeding-heart is made of sticks and leaves, lined with fine rootlets and tendrils and situated in a tree or shrub, one or two metres above the ground. Nests have been found to contain two pale cream-coloured eggs (2) (4).

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Mindoro bleeding-heart range

Endemic to the island of Mindoro in the Philippines, where it is restricted to a few remaining patches of lowland forest, mostly in the west and south of the island (2).

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Mindoro bleeding-heart habitat

The Mindoro bleeding-heart inhabits dry primary and secondary forest, in areas of dense understorey. It is known to primarily occur at forests lower than 300 metres, but there are unconfirmed observations up to 800 metres (2).

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Mindoro bleeding-heart status

Classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Critically Endangered

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Mindoro bleeding-heart threats

Mindoro’s forests have been devastated by human activities, such as logging, cultivation and rattan collection, and the bleeding-heart’s habitat has now been almost entirely eradicated (3). Populations in the remaining small forest patches continue to face intense pressure from deforestation and trapping (2). In addition, the beautifully patterned plumage of the Mindoro bleeding-heart makes it a target for trapping for domestic and export pet trade (2), and it is also hunted for food (3).

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Mindoro bleeding-heart conservation

The Mindoro bleeding-heart was last recorded in 1991 in Sablayan, the largest remaining patch of lowland forest, but there have been more recent, unconfirmed reports by local people from two other areas (5). It may be afforded a little protection in the Mount Iglit-Baco National Park, and hunting has been prohibited around Mount Malasimbo (3). Thorough surveys of all these areas are urgently needed, to clarify the Mindoro bleeding-heart’s current distribution, and if any surviving populations are discovered, studies to determine its ecological requirements would help inform conservation actions (3) (5). The protection of two key sites at which the bleeding-heart is believed to occur, Mount Halcon and Lake Naujan, is also likely to benefit this critically endangered bird (3).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

For further information on the Mindoro bleeding-heart see:

For more information on this and other bird species please see:

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Authentication

Authenticated (04/06/08) by Jonathan S. Walker, Ph.D., Director, Columbidae Conservation.
http://www.columbidae.org.uk

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Glossary

Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Primary
Relating to forest: forest that has remained undisturbed for a long time and has reached a mature condition.
Secondary forest
Forest that has re-grown after a major disturbance, such as fire or timber harvest, but has not yet reached the mature state of primary forest.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (September, 2007)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. Gibbs, D., Barnes, E. and Cox, J. (2001) A Guide to the Pigeons and Doves of the World. Pica, Robertsbridge.
  3. BirdLife International. (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
  4. Goodwin, D. (1983) Pigeons and Doves of the World. British Museum, London.
  5. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1997) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol.4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
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Image credit

Mindoro bleeding-heart, rear view  
Mindoro bleeding-heart, rear view

© Don Roberson

Don Roberson
creagrus@montereybay.com
http://montereybay.com/creagrus/diving-petrels.html

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