Red-naped Fruit-dove Ptilinopus dohertyi


Justification of Red List Category
This canopy-dwelling species qualifies as Vulnerable because it is estimated to have a small population, which is inferred to be undergoing a continuing decline owing to habitat loss and degradation.

Population justification
The global population has been estimated to number c.9,100 individuals (Jones et al. 1995), roughly equivalent to c.6,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
This species is suspected to be in decline owing to the widespread loss of forest habitat within its range.

Distribution and population

Ptilinopus dohertyi is endemic to the island of Sumba, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia (BirdLife International 2001). It is generally scarce, locally moderately common, but unobtrusive and easily overlooked. Fieldwork in 1989 and 1992 yielded density estimates of 6.9 (±1.2) birds per km2. Given 1,080 km2 of closed-canopy forest on Sumba, this was extrapolated and corrected upwards to a global population estimate of 9,100 birds.


It inhabits both primary and secondary, tropical montane rainforest, sometimes on the near-vertical walls of limestone gorges, usually at relatively high altitude, but exceptionally down to 160 m. It is tolerant of moderate degradation, and generally found in the canopy and middle storey, often foraging for fruit in the outer foliage (it is chiefly, if not exclusively, frugivorous). It is assumed to be resident, but may perhaps make local altitudinal movements.


Habitat destruction and fragmentation, stemming from small-scale logging, fuelwood-collection and clearance for cultivation or pasture, pose the main threats. These pressures are exacerbated by fires resulting from an extremely dry climate and uncontrolled burning of grasslands to encourage new growth for grazing. Since the 19th century, c.60% of forest has been lost. However, the reliance of this species on montane forest and partial tolerance of habitat degradation suggest that it is perhaps secure. Hunting is a potential further threat.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Populations occur in the recently established Manupeu-Tanahdaru and Laiwangi-Wanggameti National Parks (1,350 km2 combined). These protected areas are the result of recommendations derived from recent surveys for this and other threatened and/or endemic species. Plans to designate further protected areas are underway.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct detailed research into the ecology of the species in order to develop an effective management strategy. Gazette strict nature reserves at Yawila, Puronumbu and Luku Melolo, a wildlife sanctuary at Lulundilo and a forest park at Tanjung Ngunju. Support efforts to establish and manage further protected areas. Conduct conservation awareness programmes to reduce hunting.


33-35 cm. Medium-large, contrastingly patterned, arboreal pigeon. Cream-coloured head and upper part of neck, becoming pale pink on lower neck and breast, separated from dark glossy blue, purple or green remainder of body by whitish border. Large crimson patch on nape and hindneck. Yellow streaking on undertail-coverts. Juvenile duller and greener. Similar spp. Juvenile perhaps confusable with juvenile Black-naped Fruit-dove P. melanospila, but this species is smaller and more uniform green. Voice Soft deep woo-oo or coo-o, the second syllable shorter and lower.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Davidson, P., Taylor, J., Tobias, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Ptilinopus dohertyi. Downloaded from on 16/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 16/08/2022.