The Polynesian Ground-dove is endemic to French Polynesia, where it has become regionally extinct in some areas throughout the Tuamotu Archipelago.
This species is part of the family Columbidae, which diverged 32.7 million years ago, during the Paleogene period. This species has a very small population, which is fragmented to even smaller subpopulations on tiny wooded islets. It’s extinction from many of these islets indicates an overall decline, which is likely to be due to predation by introduced cats and rats, habitat loss and deterioration and natural disasters such as cyclones and severe storms. The greatest threat to this species is rat invasions to the islands. An island restoration project in 2015 to remove rats and other invasive species from the Acteon island group of Tuamotu was undertaken. The effects of this are still unknown and there is ongoing research to see if this has helped this species of bird. The habitats are also under threat from the aggressive colonisation by coconuts resulting in the depletion of indigenous food plants.
- Order: Columbiformes
- Family: Columbidae
- Population: 200
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 25cm
This species is found throughout the archipelagos of French Polynesia.
Habitat and Ecology
This species favours primary forest of Pandanus tectorius and Pisonia grandis on atolls with herbs, shrubs and ferns or dense shrubs, and has been observed in dense shrubs under coconut trees. They will eat a variety of foods such as caterpillars, other insects, seeds, green leaves, buds and fruit.