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Makatea Fruit-dove

Ptilope de Makatea - Photo Hadoram Shirihai

Ptilope de Makatea – Photo Hadoram Shirihai


8 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. The head is pale green topped by a marked purple cap that covers the front. The neck and chest are almond green. The back, wings and tail are of a more deep green. The tail feathers, primaries as secondary are blue-green with a yellow outline. The belly is yellow-green and yellow under the tail. Juveniles have an apple-green stain on the head instead of the pink-purple stain of the adults. The beak is orange- yellow and the legs are red-burgundy.

Order: Columbiformes

Family: Columbidae

Category: Endemic Birds


Found only on Makatea island.


More common in mouo Forests (Homalium mouo) ora (Ficus sp.) And the gardens bordering the village on the old zones of extraction of phosphate, long operated on Makatea. It often travels in groups of two or three individuals.

Cooing similar to the one of the Atoll Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus coralensis). It also emits another type of sound that makes two notes repeated four to five times in a row.

To listen the Makatea Fruit-dove:

Fruits of ora (Ficus prolixa) False pistachio (Syzygium cumini), vine Tatahi (Coccoloba uvifera) motoi (Cananga odorata), roa (Pipturus argenteus), avaro (Premna obtusifolia), and nectar of the Frangipani flower (Plumeria rubra).

Breeding occurs from August to January, but perhaps lasts all year. It seems that only one young is raised per breeding season.

Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.



Scientific Name: Ptilinopus coralensis (Gray, 1859)
subspecies chalcurus

Polynesian Names:
O’o (Makatea)

  • Tuamotu : Makatea only
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Makatea Fruit-doves are still numerous on the island. However, the species is vulnerable to extinction because it is found only on this island and nowhere else in the world. The introduction of the Rock Pigeon (Columba livia), or any other species – potential vectors of avian diseases – is serious threat to the survival of the species. With the rupe (Ducula aurorae) Makatea’s birdlife is rich of two species of endemic Columbidae. It is therefore essential to avoid any deliberate introduction of birds coming from outside and to report promptly to the competent authorities or associations (Delegation for the Environment – DIREN, Ornithological Society of Polynesia) any new intrusion.

The species is listed in category A of the list of species protected by the territorial regulations of French Polynesia.
It is classified as “Near Threatened” (NT) sur la France and Polynesia 2015 UICN Red List (listed Ptilinopus coralensis chalcurus).
It is classified as “Vulnerable” (VU) on the IUCN Red List (listed Ptilinopus chalcurus).