Blue Crowned pigeons (Goura cristata)
Victoria Crowned pigeons (Goura victoria)
Crowned pigeons are the largest pigeons in the world -- a distinction that used to be held by the Dodo bird until its extinction in the 1600s. Unless measures are taken to save this amazing species, Crowned pigeons may head that way as well. They are on the decline for similar reasons -- hunting for their meat and feathers and clear cutting forests for palm oil plantations. These birds' friendly natures and inability to fly quickly make them easy game for hunters. The prognosis for their long-term survival is not positive. As the human population of New Guinea increases so does pressure on birds like the Crowned pigeons, increasing the possibility that these beautiful birds may go extinct in the wild.
Conservation in New Guinea faces extraordinary challenges. We are fortunate, however, that there are some Victoria Crowned and Blue Crowned pigeons in the USA. These birds were imported before the Wild Bird Act of 1992. Our ARC program diverts these birds from the pet trade and puts them under conservation instead. Our goal is to have a hundred breeding pairs spread between four locations so that if required and conditions are favorable we will return these birds to the wild. The final phase of the program will be the responsibility of Pandemonium Aviaries' partners who have expertise in species reintroduction.