Otidiphaps insularis Salvin & Godman, 1883

Black-naped pheasant-pigeon, Auwo



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

Last record: 1882

Rediscovered in 2022

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered


Prior to the species' rediscovery in 2022, several searches for the species by scientists since the early 2000's had failed to find it (see Gregg et al., 2020). Local guides used by at least one of these expeditions (i.e. Gregg et al., 2020) had informed them of hunting of the species and the discovery of an active nest, but camera traps placed near the nest failed to record the species. There is no doubt that the local human population was aware of the species after 1882, and since we now know that the species is still extant, this ethnoknowledge possibly continued right through to the present day.

Laying only a single egg at a time, it is particularly susceptible to overhunting by the local human population that also inhabits the island.



Fergusson Island, D’Entrecasteaux Islands, Papua New Guinea


Anatomy & Morphology



Biology & Ecology









Original scientific description:

Godman, F. and Salvin, O. (1883). On a third species of Otidiphaps. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 1883: 33-34.


Other references:

Beehler, B. M. & Pratt, T. K. 2016. Birds of New Guinea: distribution, taxonomy, and systematics. Princeton Univ. Press.

BirdLife International. (2021). Otidiphaps insularis (errata version published in 2022). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T22726273A216252040. Accessed on 20 November 2022.

BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Otidiphaps insularis. Downloaded from on 20/11/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/11/2022.

del Hoyo, J. & Collar, N. J. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International illustrated checklist of the birds of the world, vol. 2. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (1997). Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol. 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Frith, C. B. & Beehler, B. M. 1998. The birds of paradise: Paradisaeidae. Oxford Univ. Press.

Gibbs, D.; Barnes, E.; Cox, J. (2001). Pigeons and doves: a guide to the pigeons and doves of the world. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, U.K.

Gregg, J., Nason, D. and Boersma, J. (2020). Survey of the montane avifauna of Fergusson Island, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 140(3): 309-320.

Gregory, P. (2007). Significant sightings from tour reports. Muruk 8: 3.

Martin, Thomas E., Bennett, Gareth C., Fairbairn, Andrew J. and Mooers, A. Ø. (2023). ‘Lost’ taxa and their conservation implications. Animal Conservation 26(1): 14-24. [Appendix S2 (1617 taxa not seen >10 years); Appendix S3 (562 taxa not seen >50 years)]


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