Andaman Woodpigeon Columba palumboides


Justification of Red List Category
This uncommon species appears to rely on dense forest. It is thought to have a small or moderately small and potentially fragmented population, which may be declining due to hunting and logging. It is therefore classified as Near Threatened.

Population justification
Surveys of the Andamans have found this species to be relatively rare (Davidar et al. 1996, Pande et al. 2007), but it does remain well reported on eBird (see eBird 2017). An assessment based on low reported population densities of congeners, and assuming the species occupies only a proportion of its range gives a population size estimate in the range of 2,500-9,999 mature individuals, with the largest subpopulation likely to contain >1,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
There are no data on population trends, but the species is suspected to be in decline owing to habitat degradation and hunting.

Distribution and population

Columba palumboides is endemic to the Andaman and Nicobar (including Great Nicobar, Nancowry, Car Nicobar and Batti Malv) archipelagos, India (BirdLife International 2001). It is uncommon in the Andamans (A. Prasad in litt. 2002), and the same may be true in the Nicobar islands.


This exclusively arboreal species inhabits dense broadleaved evergreen forest and occurs in pairs or small parties (BirdLife International 2001, Gibbs et al. 2001). It is frugivorous, taking a wide variety of large berries and fruit, and wanders between islands in search of food sources such as fruiting fig trees (BirdLife International 2001, Gibbs et al. 2001).


Its limited range and preference for dense forest suggest that it is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation. Indeed, although forest remains fairly extensive on the Andaman and Nicobar islands, the human population on larger islands is rising and habitat is consequently under pressure from agriculture, grazing, logging and development projects. Hunting is also apparently common on the islands and may affect this species.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The Department of Environment and Forests, Andaman & Nicobar Islands has initiated steps to conserve the endemic and threatened bird species of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Zoological Survey of India is monitoring the bird population of this archipelago (C. Sivaperuman in litt. 2016).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Research its ecology and survey to assess population size. Regularly monitor to determine population trends. Investigate its tolerance of degraded forest and the extent of hunting by local residents. Control hunting where possible, perhaps using awareness campaigns. Protect significant areas of intact forest on a number of islands across its range.


Text account compilers
Westrip, J., Benstead, P., Taylor, J., Mahood, S.

Sivaperuman, C., Praveen, J., Prasad, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Columba palumboides. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/03/2023.