Tag Archives: Pampusana sp. Karoraina

A ground dove from Karoraina?

The genus Pampusana, formerly Gallicolumba and then Alopecoenas, apparently did once occur also as far northeast as to the Line Islands of Kiribati, as can be taken from an account from 1840 by Frederick Debell Bennett about a stay on Caroline Island, now named Karoraina.:

At night, on the 22nd of April, many shoal-birds came about the ship, greeting us with their hoarse cries, so prophetic of the vicinity of land; and at daybreak on the following morning, Caroline Island was seen from the mast-head, bearing N.W., distant 10 miles.

 The inland thickets contained a great number of small pigeons, with white head and neck, and the rest of their plumage of a rich brown colour.
” [1]

This account might refer to a population of the Polynesian Ground Dove (Pampusana erythroptera (Gmelin)) as suggested by David W. Steadman & Dominique S. Pahlavan or, given the extreme distance between the northernmost Tuamotuan atolls and the island of Karoraina, may perhaps rather refer to a distinct, now extinct species. [2]



[1] F. D. Bennett: Narrative of a Whaling Voyage round the Globe, from the year 1833 to 1836. London: Richard Bentley 1840
[2] David W. Steadman; Dominique S. Pahlavan: Extinction and biogeography of birds on Huahine, Society Islands, French Polynesia. Geoarchaeology 7(5): 449-483. 1992


edited: 17.03.2020