Columba vitiensis ssp. godmanae (Mathews)

Lord Howe White-throated Pigeon (Columba vitiensis ssp. godmanae)

Described in 1915, this species is still exclusively known by some contemporaneous accounts and depictions made in the early 1800s.

This beautiful bird was restricted to Lord Howe island and was one of the first bird forms from that island to go extinct; it was actually hunted (and eaten) to extinction already by the first few European settlers on the island.

The Lord Howe White-throated Pigeon is now usually considered a subspecies of the White-throated Pigeon (Columba vitiensis Qouy & Gaimard) which is distributed from the Philippines to eastern Indonesia, parts of Melanesia to westernmost Polynesia; however, the species is a candidate for splitting, and some forms should rather be regarded as distinct species, including the extinct one from Lord Howe Island.

The pigeons were last recorded in 1853.


Depiction from an album of watercolor drawings of Australian natural history owned by a man named Robert Anderson Seton; ca. 1800

(public domain)


edited: 19.08.2022