Ducula harrisoni Wragg & Worthy, 2006:130

Henderson imperial pigeon, Harrison’s imperial pigeon, Henderson Island imperial-pigeon, Henderson ducula pigeon (Wragg & Weisler, 1994:61; Wragg, 1995:407)



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

The existence of an undescribed species of Ducula was reported by (Wragg & Weisler, 1994:64), but not described until 2006 (Wragg & Worthy, 2006). Steadman & Olson (1985:6193-6194) had earlier mentioned the existence of two Ducula sp. on Henderson Island but had considered them to be from extant species, or in the second instance, and which is in fact probably referrable to Ducula harrisoni, that it belonged to a species closely allied to D. galeata. However, Steadman and Olson (1985) did not specifically state that their second species was probably an undescribed species, almost certainly due to a lack of diagnostic material (which has now been excavated).


Bourne & David (1986:302) may have suggested the existence of what is now known as D. harrisoni, thus predating (Wragg & Weisler, 1994) by 8 years, however I have not viewed that paper so I cannot draw any firm conclusion at this time.


Conservation Status


Last record: Holocene?



Henderson Island, Pitcairn Group


Biology & Ecology




Holotype: MNZ S41609 ("right tarsometatarsus")

Type locality: "Henderson Island, site 5, testpit 2, spit 7"



NMNZ S.41617–8, S.41639–41, S.41649, S.41653, S.41657, S.41684, S.41715, S.41717, S.41722, S.41728, S.41735, S.41758 and S.41760


Referred material:

For a full list of material referred to Ducula harrisoni see (Wragg & Worthy, 2006:131,133)






Original scientific description:

Wragg, G. M. and Worthy, T. H. (2006). A new species of extinct imperial pigeon (Ducula: Columbidae) from Henderson Island, Pitcairn Group. Historical Biology 18(2): 127–140.


Other references:

Bourne, W. R. P. and David, A. C. F. (1986). Henderson Island. Nature 322: 302.

Hume, Julian Pender and Walters, Michael. (2012). Extinct Birds. London: T & AD Poyser.

Sinoto, Y. (1983). An analysis of Polynesian migrations based on the archeological assessments. J. Soc. Ocanistes 31: 143-186.

Steadman, David W. and Olson, Storrs L. (1985). Bird remains from an archeological site on Henderson Island, South Pacific: man-caused extinctions on an "uninhabited" island. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 82: 6191-6195.

Tennyson, Alan J. D. and Bartle, J. A. (2008). Catalogue of type specimens of birds in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Tuhinga 19: 185-207.

Tyrberg, Tommy. (2009). Holocene avian extinctions, pp. 63-106. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.

Wragg, Graham M. (1995). The fossil birds of Henderson Island, Pitcairn Group: natural turnover and human impact, a synopsis. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 56: 405-414.

Wragg, G. M. and Weisler, M. I. (1994). Extinctions and new records of birds from Henderson Island, Pitcairn group, south Pacific Ocean. Notornis 41(1): 61-70.


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