Galapagos Dove Zenaida galapagoensis


Justification of Red List Category
Although this species may have a small range, it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'fairly common' (Stotz et al. (1996).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Distribution and population

This taxon is endemic to the Galápagos islands, Ecuador, where two subspecies are recognised. The race exsul is known from Culpepper and Wenman, while the nominate galapagoensis occurs on all the other major islands. It is rare on some islands but common on others, appearing to be fairly secure away from settled areas and on islands free of predators.


The species inhabits dry rocky lowlands with scattered trees, bushes and Opuntia cacti. It feeds mainly on seeds, but during the wet season it also feeds on caterpillars and cacti blossoms. Active nests usually containing two eggs have been found during most months, and the breeding season may vary between islands; the nest may be on the ground, in rock cavities, or in old Galápagos Mockingbird Nesomimus parvulus nests.


Predation of adults, eggs and young by feral cats and other introduced predators is probably the main threat to this species today. In the past, its confiding nature made it an easy target for hunters with records of 60-70 being killed in a single morning; however the species is now much less tame, and hunting pressure has decreased considerably (del Hoyo et al. 1997).



Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Harding, M.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Zenaida galapagoensis. Downloaded from on 06/08/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 06/08/2020.