White-Crowned Pigeon: Status Rangewide And In The Dominican Republic

White-crowned pigeon (Columba leucocephala) populations have undergone a widespread decline as a result of habitat destruction and poor (or no) management. The Dominican Republic once had large populations of this pigeon, but our investigations between 1976 and 1978 showed their numbers are now drastically reduced. The pigeons are migratory, using lowland areas for nesting (March through October), and following available food sources through a wide range of habitats during the non-breeding season. Areas of 4 nesting colonies ranged from 16.0 to 40.9 ha and were formed of a dense core with dispersed or solitary nesting birds around the periphery. Numbers of adults in the colonies ranl?ed from 8,000 to 16,800, and .nest densities .observed were fron: 0.8 to 3.3 nests / 100 m'. Human harassment of colomally nesting pigeons was responsible for the failure of most breeding colonies we inspected. To aid recovery of the species in the Dominican Republic we recommend a ban on all white-crowned pigeon hunting during the breeding season to be enforced by trained game agents, as well as the preservation of additional habitat, and continued research on the pigeon's biology.

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