Mariana Fruit Doves, Ptilinopus roseicapilla
The Mariana Fruit Doves, Ptilinopus roseicapilla, is also known locally as Mwee’mwe in the Carolinian language, Totot on Guam, or Paluman Totut in the Northern Mariana Islands.
Description / Range
It is a small, up to 24cm long, green fruit dove native and endemic to Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands in the Pacific. It has a red forehead, greyish head, back, and breast, and yellow belly patch and undertail coverts.
Breeding / Nesting
The female lays a single white egg. The chick and egg are tended to by both parents.
Diet / Feeding
Its diet consists mainly of fruits.
Status / Conservation
The species faces extinction due to habitat loss throughout its range.
A larger threat to the Mariana Fruit Dove has been the accidental introduction of the Brown tree snake to Guam during World War II. The snakes decimated the native bird populations of the island, which were unaccustomed to predators.
They are extinct on Guam and the Mariana Fruit Dove is highly endangered on other islands in its range. The spread of the snakes to other Northern Marianas Islands could be devastating. Several zoos have started captive breeding programs.
The St. Louis Zoo, in St. Louis, Missouri, has one of the most successful captive breeding programs. The program began in 1993.
Due to its limited range, ongoing habitat loss, small population size, and invasive alien species, the Mariana Fruit Dove is evaluated as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The Mariana Fruit Dove is a very important symbol of the region.
This species is the official bird of the Northern Marianas Islands.
In 2005, the Mariana Fruit Dove was originally chosen as the official mascot of the 2006 Micronesian Games in Saipan. However, the official website for the games shows a tropicbird as the official symbol instead of the Mariana Fruit Dove.
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