Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Extinct
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
 
List of Migratory Species (13/07/2000) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000b) [Legislative Instrument].
 
List of Migratory Species - Amendment to the list of migratory species under section 209 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (26/11/2013) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2013af) [Legislative Instrument].
 
Non-statutory Listing Status
NGO: Listed as Extinct (The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010)
Scientific name Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae spadicea [25989]
Family Columbidae:Columbiformes:Aves:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Latham, 1802)
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map not available for this taxon.
Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae spacidea

Common name: New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race)

The New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race) is a valid subspecies of the New Zealand Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) (Higgins & Davies 1996).

The New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race) was a large (length: 50 cm), distinctive, brightly coloured fruit-eating pigeon. Its head and neck were largely iridescent dark green with a metallic sheen. The mantle was chestnut, the rump greyish, and the uppertail was purplish black. The underparts comprised an iridescent green chin, throat and breast, and a white belly, vent and undertail. The upperwings were pale grey-green, and the underwings white. The bill and eyes were red, and the legs and feet were bright red (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Other subspecies of New Zealand Pigeon are usually recorded singly or in pairs, and it is likely that the Norfolk Island subspecies would have been similar (Higgins & Davies 1996).

The New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race) was endemic to Norfolk Island (Schodde et al. 1983). It is thought to have become extinct around 1900 (Moore 1985a).

The New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race) was geographically isolated from other subspecies. Other subspecies occurring outside of Australia are the Kereru (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae novaeseelandiae) on the North Island and South Island of New Zealand and various outlying islands (including Great Barrier Island and Stewart Island), and the Parea (H. n. chathamensis) on the Chatham Island group (Ornithological Society of New Zealand 1990).

At the species level, many populations of the New Zealand Pigeon have declined since the 19th century due largely to loss of habitat, overhunting, and predation by introduced species (Clout 1990; Grant et al. 1997; Oliver 1955; Ornithological Society of New Zealand 1990; Powlesland et al. 1997; Robertson 2000). The Parea is still considered to be threatened, as its population declined greatly after European settlement of the Chatham Island group, including local extinctions on some islands (del Hoyo et al. 1997; Grant et al. 1997; Nilsson et al. 1994; Powlesland et al. 1997). The Kereru has declined in some areas, notably in Northland in the 1980s (Pierce et al. 1993).

There have not been any comprehensive surveys for the New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race). There have, however, been a number of ornithological surveys on Norfolk Island since the subspecies became extinct (e.g. Bell 1990a; Robinson 1988; Schodde et al. 1983; Smithers & Disney 1969), but there has been no sign of the subspecies. Other subspecies of the New Zealand Pigeon have been surveyed intensively (e.g. Clout 1990; Clout et al. 1986, 1991, 1995; Grant et al. 1997; Powlesland et al. 1997).

The New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race) is thought to have become extinct around 1900, although it was formerly considered to be 'common' (Moore 1985a). The rate of decline is unknown.

The New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race) probably occurred in a single population. The species as a whole occurs in several smaller populations, with the Parea and Kereru, on the main islands of New Zealand, considered separate populations. It has been suggested that these different populations should be considered as separate species (Higgins & Davies 1996).

No New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race) population fluctuations were reported, though large numbers of individuals of other subspecies may congregate in areas where there is abundant fruit to eat (Oliver 1955).

Nothing is known of the ecology of the New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race) (Garnett & Crowley 2000), though the population probably inhabited areas of native forest. The Kereru and Parea inhabit areas of native forest, especially temperate rainforest or broadleaf forest, often at its edge or in clearings within the forest, and occasionally in pasture (Clout 1990; Grant et al. 1995).

Nothing is known of the ages of sexual maturity, life expectancy and natural mortality of the New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race). Other subspecies can be long lived (Clout 1990). The mean life expectancy of the Parea is 24.5 years (Grant et al. 1997), and the Kereru at Pelorus Bridge it was 5.4 years (Clout et al. 1995) and 1.2 years in Northland (Pierce & Graham 1995).

The breeding ecology of the New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race) is unknown (Garnett & Crowley 2000). Other subspecies of the New Zealand Pigeon build a frail platform of sticks in which they lay a single white egg (Clout 1990; Clout et al. 1995; Genet & Guest 1976; Oliver 1955). The breeding season of the Kereru is mostly November–March (Clout et al. 1988, 1995), and the Parea mainly breeds June–August (Powlesland et al. 1997); in both regions, breeding coincides with the heavy fruiting of favoured food plants (Clout 1990; Powlesland et al. 1997).

Nothing is known about the feeding ecology of the New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race) (Garnett & Crowley 2000). Other subspecies eat fruit, leaves, shoots, flowers and buds (Clout et al. 1986; Dunn 1981; McEwen 1978; Oliver 1955; Powlesland et al. 1997), and are an important agent for the dispersal of seeds of forest plants (Grant et al. 1997; Powlesland et al. 1997).

Nothing is known about the feeding behaviour of the New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race) (Garnett & Crowley 2000). Other subspecies forage in the canopy of trees, though they sometimes also forage on the ground (Dunn 1981; Gibb 1970; Higgins & Davies 1996).

As the New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race) was endemic to Norfolk Island, it was likely to have been sedentary. Other subspecies are generally sedentary, though some individuals may travel up to 25 kilometres (Clout 1990; Clout et al. 1986, 1991). Some birds have been recorded flying between islands (Bell & Brathwaite 1963; Wright 1975). The pattern of presence and absence of the Kereru indicates that movements occur in association with availability of food, possibly with an altitudinal component (Higgins & Davies 1996).

There is no information on the home ranges or territories of the extinct New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race). The Kereru defends well-defined home ranges of up to 10 ha (Clout 1990).

The New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race) was quite distinctive, being about twice as large as the Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica), the other resident pigeon on Norfolk Island. Its plumage was also markedly different from the Emerald Dove, with a glossy green/purple head and neck, clean white underbody and iridescent greyish-green upperwings (the Emerald Dove has brownish head and neck, brownish underbody and iridescent green upperwings) (Higgins & Davies 1996).

The detectability of the New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island) is unknown, but other subspecies are usually silent (Oliver 1955). The New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island) was nevertheless considered very conspicuous (Clout 1990), especially when performing courtship flights (Clout 1990; Heather & Robertson 2000a; Nilsson et al. 1994).

The extinction of the New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race) is thought to have been caused by overhunting by settlers and predation by feral Cats (Felis catus) (Clout 1990; Hermes 1985; McAllan 1999; Moore 1985a). The subspecies was last recorded in 1900 (Hermes 1985; Schodde et al. 1983). Other subspecies have experienced declines due to hunting, habitat loss, and the introduction of predators (Clout 1990; Grant et al. 1997; Oliver 1955; Powlesland et al. 1997).

There have been no major studies on the New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race). Other subspecies, however, have been well studied (e.g. Clout 1990; Clout et al. 1986, 1991, 1995; Grant et al. 1997; Powlesland et al. 1997). Higgins & Davies (1996) summarises all that is known about the species as a whole.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Uncategorised:Uncategorised:threats not specified Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae spadiceain Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006ng) [Internet].

Bell, B.D. (1990a). The Status and Management of the White-breasted White-eye and Other Birds on Norfolk Island. Report to Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Canberra.

Bell, B.D. & D.H. Brathwaite (1963). The birds of Great Barrier and Arid Islands. Notornis. 10:363-383.

Clout, M. (1990). The Kereru and its forests. Birds International. 2(4):11-19.

Clout, M.N., B.J. Karl & P.D. Gaze (1991). Seasonal movements of New Zealand Pigeons from a lowland forest reserve. Notornis. 38:37-47.

Clout, M.N., B.J. Karl, R.J. Pierce & H.A. Robertson (1995). Breeding and survival of New Zealand Pigeons Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae. Ibis. 37:264-271.

Clout, M.N., P.D. Gaze & J.R. Hay (1988). Clutch overlap by a New Zealand Pigeon. Notornis. 35:59-62.

Clout, M.N., P.D. Gaze, J.R. Hay & B.J. Karl (1986). Habitat use and spring movements of New Zealand Pigeons at Lake Rotoroa, Nelson Lakes National Park. Notornis. 33:37-44.

del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal, eds. (1997). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 4, Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions.

Dunn, P.L. (1981). The Feeding Ecology of the New Zealand Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae). M.Sc. Thesis. Dunedin, New Zealand: University of Otago.

Garnett, S.T. & G.M. Crowley (2000). The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Environment Australia and Birds Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/action/birds2000/index.html.

Genet, R. & R. Guest (1976). Winter nesting of N.Z. Pigeon. Notornis. 23:319.

Gibb, J.A. (1970). A pigeon's choice of plums. Notornis. 17:239.

Grant, A.D., R.G. Rowland, P.J. Dilks, I.A. Flux & C.J. Tisdall (1997). Mortality, distribution, numbers and conservation of the Chatham Island Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae chathamensis). Notornis. 44:65-77.

Heather, B.D. & H.A. Robertson (2000a). The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

Hermes, N. (1985). Birds of Norfolk Island. Wonderland Publications, Norfolk Island.

Higgins, P.J. & S.J.J.F. Davies, eds (1996). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume Three - Snipe to Pigeons. Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Magrath, M.J.L., M.A. Weston, P. Olsen & M. Antos (2004). Draft Survey Standards for Birds: Species Accounts. Melbourne, Victoria: Report for the Department of the Environment and Heritage by Birds Australia.

McAllan, I.A.W. (1999). A common name for the Norfolk Island Pigeon. Australian Bird Watcher. 18:179-180.

McEwen, W.M. (1978). The food of the New Zealand Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae novaeseelandiae). New Zealand Journal of Ecology. 1:99-108.

Moore, J.L. (1985a). Notornis Ensign Best's bird observations on Norfolk Island. Notornis. 32:319-322.

Nilsson, R.J., E.S. Kennedy & J.A. West (1994). The birdlife of South East Island (Rangatira), Chatham Islands, New Zealand. Notornis. 41:109-125.

Oliver, W.R.B. (1955). New Zealand Birds. Wellington, New Zealand: Reed.

Ornithological Society of New Zealand (1990). Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, New Zealand: Random Century.

Pierce, R.J. & P.J. Graham (1995). Ecology and breeding biology of Kukupa (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) in Northland. Department of Conservation Science Research. Series 91.

Pierce, R.J., R. Atkinson & E. Smith (1993). Changes in bird numbers in six Northland forests 1979-1993. Notornis. 40:285-293.

Powlesland, R.G., P.J. Dilks, I.A. Flux, A.D. Grant & C.J. Tisdall (1997). Impact of food abundance, diet and food quality on the breeding of the fruit pigeon, Parea Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae chathamensis, on Chatham Island, New Zealand. Ibis. 139:353-365.

Robinson, D. (1988). Ecology and management of the Scarlet Robin, White-breasted White-eye and Long-billed White-eye on Norfolk Island. Report to Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Canberra.

Schodde, R., P. Fullagar & N. Hermes (1983). A review of Norfolk Island birds: past and present. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service Special Publication. 8.

Smithers, C.N. & H.J. Disney (1969). The distribution of terrestrial and freshwater birds on Norfolk Island. Australian Zoologist. 15:127-140.

Wright, A. (1975). Survey - Centre Island (Raratoke), 6-9 August and 10-12 Dec. 1975. Unpublished Report to the New Zealand Wildlife Service, Wellington, New Zealand.

EPBC Act email updates can be received via the Communities for Communities newsletter and the EPBC Act newsletter.

This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae spadicea in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Wed, 24 Sep 2014 05:25:38 +1000.