Laughing Dove Spilopelia senegalensis


Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not 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 is estimated to be very large hence 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. The European population is estimated at 61,500-204,000 pairs, which equates to 123,000-408,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms <5% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 2,400,000-8,200,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. In Europe the population size is estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International 2015).


The species is associated with cultivation, trees (but not forests) and human habitation. Breeding season varies between regions. The nest is a frail, thin platform of roots, twigs and petioles placed in a bush or tree up to 15 m above the ground (Baptista et al. 1997). It may also nest on buildings under the eaves, on drainpipes or in cracks in walls (Snow and Perrins 1998). It feeds on small seeds but also takes fruits, nectar from Aloe and some insects (Baptista et al. 1997). In Europe it is largely resident throughout range (Snow and Perrins 1998). Partially migratory in Africa and India (Baptista et al. 1997).


There are currently no known serious threats to this species.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES III in Ghana. Otherwise there are currently no known conservation measures for this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Currently no conservation measures are required for this species.


Text account compilers
Ashpole, J, Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Spilopelia senegalensis. Downloaded from on 15/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 15/10/2021.