Tolima Dove Leptotila conoveri


Justification of Red List Category
This species is known from a very small number of locations and habitat fragmentation, loss and degradation are continuing within its very small range. The population is almost certainly very small, fragmented and declining. It is therefore classified as Endangered. It is considered nationally Endangered in Colombia (Renjifo et al. 2002).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 1,000-2,499 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size; the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied, and previous population estimates of fewer than 2,500 mature individuals. This estimate is equivalent to 667-1,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 600-1,700 mature individuals.

Trend justification
A slow and ongoing population decline is suspected on the basis of continued habitat loss and degradation.

Distribution and population

Leptotila conoveri occurs on the east slope of the Central Andes and locally in East Andes of Colombia. It is known only from the valleys of the Coello-Combeima river system, near Ibagué, Tolima, and two valleys in the headwaters of the río Magdalena, Huila (of the latter two valleys, there are no records from one since 1952); it has recently been found in the E Andes of Colombia, in Cundinamarca (González-Prieto et al. 2014). The small number of records suggests that its population is small. It is fairly common at one site in Tolima (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999).


It occurs mainly in humid forest and bushy forest borders in the subtropical zone at 1,600-2,225 m, and possibly as high as 2,500 m. It has been found in secondary growth, with one record from a valley of coffee groves and secondary forest. Birds collected in Huila in March-April, and in Tolima in June, were in breeding condition.


Parts of the upper Magdalena valley have been converted to agriculture since the 18th century (Stiles et al. 1999) but, when the type-series was collected in 1942, the higher valleys of the Toche area, Tolima, were heavily forested. Since the 1950s, much of the original habitat in these valleys has been cleared and used for agriculture, including coffee plantations, potatoes, beans and cattle-grazing (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, López-Lanús et al. 2000). Mature secondary forest patches are now fragmented, and natural vegetation cover is judged to have been reduced to c.15% between 1,900 and 3,200 m (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, López-Lanús et al. 2000).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
In Colombia, formerly considered Endangered (Renjifo et al. 2002), but now assessed as Vulnerable at the national level (Renjifo et al. 2014). Found in Nevado del Huila National Natural Park (Carvajal-Rueda et al. 2014). An integrated conservation programme for the forests around the type-locality should benefit this and other threatened species in the area. Action for the Yellow-eared Parrot Ognorhynchus icterotis has increased public awareness and community involvement in conservation issues in the río Toche area, Tolima (Salaman et al. 1999b), which should also benefit L. conoveri.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Evaluate forest cover in its range and follow-up with surveys of larger blocks to determine the current population and distribution (López-Lanús et al. 2000). Investigate the ecological requirements of this species, especially the degree to which it tolerates modified habitats, and apply this in the development of a captive breeding programme. Protect a stronghold area, if found (López-Lanús et al. 2000).


25 cm. Plump, buff-bellied terrestrial dove. Blue-grey crown to nape becoming dark brown on the rest of upperparts. White forehead and throat, with dark vinaceous-buff sides of neck and upper breast in sharp contrast to buff lower breast and abdomen. Slaty-brown tail with small white tips to outermost feathers. Cinnamon-rufous wing-coverts visible in flight. White eye with bare, bright red eye-ring. Black bill and pink legs. Similar spp. All other Colombian Leptotila spp. have whitish (not deep buff) bellies. In range, only confusable with White-tipped Dove L. verreauxi, which also differs in white crown and more extensive white tail tips. Voice Unknown but probably like other Leptotila spp.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Stuart, T., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C.J., Symes, A.

Salaman, P.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Leptotila conoveri. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/03/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/03/2020.