White-fronted Quail-dove Geotrygon leucometopia


Justification of Red List Category
This newly-split species is classified as Endangered because it has a single, very small population which has suffered a rapid and continuing decline, owing to on-going habitat loss, hunting pressure and the effects of introduced predators, and it occupies a very small range in which suitable habitat is declining in area and quality, and may be severely fragmented.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number fewer than 2,500 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, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. It is placed in the band 1,000-2,499 individuals, which equates to 667-1,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 600-1,700 mature individuals.

Trend justification
Although there are no new data on this species, it is suspected to be in rapid decline, owing to habitat loss and hunting pressure.

Distribution and population

Geotrygon leucometopia occurs on the Cordillera Central, Sierra de Baoruco and Sierra de Neiba in the Dominican Republic (Baptista et al. 1997, S. Latta in litt. 1998, Raffaele et al. 1998). There are local reports from the 1920s of a rare, grey quail-dove near the summit of Morne La Selle in Haiti, but intensive habitat destruction has probably extirpated any hypothetical populations (Baptista et al. 1997). It remains locally fairly common on the Sierra de Baoruco (Baptista et al. 1997), but is still only known from eleven localities there and in the Cordillera Central; it is thought to have been extirpated from the Sierra de Neiba (S. Latta in litt. 1998, Garrido et al. 2002, Latta et al. 2006).


It occurs in dense, montane moist forests and coffee plantations up to 1,800 m, and is known from two localities at sea-level (Baptista et al. 1997, Raffaele et al. 1998). It feeds on seeds and small invertebrates, foraging on the ground and frequently along tracks, but may perch 10 m above the ground (Baptista et al. 1997).


Habitat destruction, fragmentation and degradation has reduced this species to near-extinction on the Cordillera Central and Sierra de Neiba (Baptista et al. 1997), while hunting and introduced predators are further potential threats (Gibbs et al. 2001).  Habitat loss in the Sierra de Baoruco has accelerated owing largely to commercial-scale farm operations (S. C. Latta in litt. 2016).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Hunting of the species in the Dominican Republic was prohibited in 1978. Montane forest is poorly represented in the Dominican Republic's protected-areas system, but the wildlife service has recently proposed 15 new areas, including six in montane forest (Schubert 1993, Stattersfield et al. 1998).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to clarify the species's current status and determine the protected areas within which it occurs. Control dry season burning and draining. Enforce laws concerning hunting of the species. Formally designate the proposed reserves in the Dominican Republic. Devise and implement management plans for protected areas. Enforce protection of protected areas.


28 cm. Greyish dove with distinctive purplish sheen on back. Purplish mantle often extending onto breast sides, blue rump, black tail, brown wings with rufous fringes to primaries. Bold white forehead on darkish grey head. Underparts greyish with warm ochraceous undertail. Similar spp. Grey-headed Quail-dove G. caniceps has an all mid-grey head and a different voice. Voice A prolonged coo-o-o quite different to the continuous low notes of G. canicepsHints Prefers moist areas with leaf-litter. Singly or in pairs, calls from perch rather than forest floor.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Mahood, S., Sharpe, C J, Wege, D., Martin, R, Taylor, J., Symes, A. & Wheatley, H.

Latta, S., Mitchell, A. & Kirkconnell, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Geotrygon leucometopia. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/09/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/09/2020.