Goura victoria , Photo: Michael Lahanas
Goura victoria (Fraser, 1844)
* Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London Pt12 no.138 p.136
The Victoria Crowned Pigeon, Goura victoria, is a large, approximately 74cm (29 in) long and weighing up to 2.5 kg (5.5 lb), bluish-grey pigeon with elegant blue lace-like crests, maroon breast and red iris. The bird may be easily recognized by the unique white tips on its crests. Both sexes are similar.
One of three superficially similar species of crowned pigeons (the others being the Western Crowned Pigeon and the Southern Crowned Pigeon), the Victoria Crowned Pigeon is distributed in the lowland and swamp forests of northern New Guinea and surrounding islands. Its diet consists mainly of fruits, figs, seeds and invertebrates. The female usually lays a single white egg.
The name commemorates the British monarch, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
There are two subspecies of the Victoria Crowned Pigeon, Goura victoria victoria, the nominate race is the smaller of the two supspecies and can be found in Yapen, Biak & Supiori. Goura victoria beccarii is found on the mainland of New Guinea
Due to continuing habitat loss, being tame and easily hunted for its plumes and meat, the Victoria Crowned Pigeon is evaluated as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed in Appendix II of CITES. To help with conservation efforts, the Denver Zoo has a mating pair in their bird habitat, Bird World.
* BirdLife International (2004). Goura victoria. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 10 May 2006. Database entry includes a range map and justification for why this species is vulnerable
Source: Wikispecies, Wikipedia: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License