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Scheepmaker’s crowned pigeon

Goura scheepmakeri

Scheepmaker’s crowned pigeon

Scheepmaker’s crowned pigeons are related to the grey pigeons we see on our streets every day. Originating from their Island home of New Guinea they are one of the world’s largest species of pigeon. They have a beautiful blue ornate ‘crown’ of feathers on their head and a deep purple breast. They spend a lot of time on the ground, looking for fallen seeds and fruit and, when disturbed, they try and run away rather than fly. If they need to, the birds will fly up to a high branch and perch there while nervously wagging their tails.

Our Scheepmaker’s crowned pigeons at Belfast breed three times a year in the rainforest house, successfully rearing a single chick each time.

Habitat
Rainforest and forest

Diet - Omnivore
Scheepmaker’s crowned pigeons eat fallen fruit and seeds from trees and bushes. They also eat snails.

Size
The average Scheepmaker’s crowned pigeon is up to 75 centimetres long and weighs up to 2.25 kilograms.

Location
Scheepmaker’s crowned pigeons are found in dry and flooded forests in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Conservation status
They are listed under Appendix II of CITES. The IUCN considers Scheepmaker’s crowned pigeons to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

Threats
The biggest threats to the birds are habitat destruction and being hunted for their meat and lacy feathers.

Current population
Exact population numbers are unknown but the number of Scheepmaker’s crowned pigeons living in the wild is decreasing.

Zoo population
Scheepmaker’s crowned pigeons are managed under an ESB. There are currently around 130 pigeons living in zoos around the world.

Key to acronyms

CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature

ESB - European Studbook

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