• Scientific Name: Ptilinopus huttoni Finsch, 1874
  • Polynesian Names: Koko (Rapa)
  • Order: Columbiformes
  • Family: Columbidae
  • CategoryEndemic Birds
  • Location: Australes : Rapa only

Apearance and identification

12 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. It is a big bird. A rose patch extends from the crown to the chin. The belly is pink on the front and yellow at the rear. The feathers are pink. The neck, back, cheeks, throat and chest are white-green. All the rest of the body is green. The large tail feathers and wings are blue-green with a yellow outline. The beak is yellow and the legs are burgundy.

Videos

No media

Voice

Characteristics

Endemic to Rapa.

Young birds and nests visible from December to April.

Once present on wooded hills and on peaks, it now lives in areas of dense forests on high altitude (40-450 meters). Appreciates tropical pines (Pinus sp.).

This bird is cooing on a single tone “hoo, hoo, hoo …” or long note followed by 3-4 slower notes and accelerated notes « ooo-o-o-o, oo, oo, oo, o, o, o, o, o, o, o ».

Eats fruits and their nectar. Berries and fleshy fruits of guava (Psidium guajava), Coffee tree (Coffea arabica) and endemic species of the island (Meryta sp., Omalanthus stokesii, Oparanthus rapensis), rata flower nectar (Metrosideros collina).

Location

Endemic to Rapa.

Breeding

Young birds and nests visible from December to April.

Habitat

Once present on wooded hills and on peaks, it now lives in areas of dense forests on high altitude (40-450 meters). Appreciates tropical pines (Pinus sp.).

Voice

This bird is cooing on a single tone “hoo, hoo, hoo …” or long note followed by 3-4 slower notes and accelerated notes « ooo-o-o-o, oo, oo, oo, o, o, o, o, o, o, o ».

Food

Eats fruits and their nectar. Berries and fleshy fruits of guava (Psidium guajava), Coffee tree (Coffea arabica) and endemic species of the island (Meryta sp., Omalanthus stokesii, Oparanthus rapensis), rata flower nectar (Metrosideros collina).

Status and protection

Victim of disappearance and fragmentation of forests in Rapa, its numbers was estimated at 160 individuals in 2018.
The species is endangered of extinction, it would be important to establish a reserve on Rapa Island to save their habitat from destruction by cattle and goats and consider its establishment on a second island of the Pacific. The unique habitat is found nowhere else in the Austral, making this task quite difficult to achieve.

The species is listed in category A, on the list of species protected by the territorial regulations of French Polynesia.
The species is classified as “Endangered” (EN) on the France and Polynesia 2015 UICN Red List.
It is now classified as « Critically Endangered » (CR) on the IUCN Red List.

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