Taxonomic name: Streptopelia decaocto (Frivaldszky, 1838)
Synonyms: Columba risoria decaocto
Common names: Balkáni gerle (Hungarian-Hungary), collared dove (English), Eurasian collared-dove (English), Indian ring-dove (English), Kolchataya Gorlitsa (Russian-Russia), Rola-turca (Portuguese-Portugal), Sierpówka (Polish-Poland), Tórtola turca (Spanish-Spain), Tortora dal collare (Italian-Italy), Tourterelle turque (French-France), Turkduva (Swedish-Sweden), Türkentaube (German-Germany), Turkinkyyhky (Finnish-Finland), Turkse Tortel (Dutch-Netherlands), Tyrkerdue (Danish)
Organism type: bird
The Eurasian collared-dove (Streptopelia decaocto) is an extremely successful invader capable of phenomenal range expansion despite geographic barriers. In Europe, it spread from Turkey and the Balkans colonizing almost every country in Western Europe in a matter of 30 years, becoming viable breeders within two years of invasion. Believed introduced to the West Indies by accidental release of a pet trader in 1974, Eurasian collared-doves have spread throughout the Caribbean. In the early 1980's they invaded Florida and quickly established localities throughout the southeastern United States. Researchers cite factors such as genetic mutation, keen adaptation to human-dominated environments, and high reproductive potential as possible explanations for their abundant range expansion. Negative impacts include competition with endemic birds and potential disease transmission.
The Eurasian collared-dove (Streptopelia decaocto) is a stocky, medium-sized dove. Adults are gray with a distinguishable black collar and squared tail. They have a pinkish hue to their head and breast. The narrow black collar is located on the hind neck and is lined with white. Its wings bear a gray band across the coverts and primaries are dark brown. The undertail coverts are gray, with a black and white pattern, and a broad, white terminal edge. Its bill is slender and black, their eyes have a deep red iris, and legs and feet are a dark red. Females and males alike plumages year-round. Juveniles similar with pale red margins on breast, wing, and back feathers and lacking a complete collar until about 3 months old (Romagosa, 2002; Sibley, 2003).
agricultural areas, desert, range/grasslands, riparian zones, scrub/shrublands, urban areas
Often found in suburban, urban, and agricultural areas Streptopelia decaocto roosts in trees, buildings, barns, poles, overhead wires, etc. It is described as preferring open habitats including open woodland, scrub, and desert, but commonly avoiding heavily forested areas, as well as those with intense agriculture where there are no suitable roosting, nesting, or feeding sites available. In India, its original range, Eurasian collared-doves are found in open country usually near agricultural areas but also frequent towns and villages. In Europe and North America, they are found in areas where grain is available and depend heavily on food indirectly provided by humans. Nesting typically occurs in areas of human habitation, commonly using coniferous and deciduous trees and shrubs in addition to buildings and man-made structures (Romagosa, 2002; Sibley, 2003).
The vast expansion of the Eurasian collared-dove is believed to result in competition with other bird species including mourning dove (Zenaida macroura), turtledove (Streptopelia turtur). They may threaten agriculture as they are known to eat and foul grain products. They are considered a crop pest in Pakistan (Roberts, 1991). Streptopelia decaocto is also a carrier and amplifying species for West Nile virus since antibodies have been recorded in S. decaocto. Researchers have indicated it as an amplifying bird, meaning a species which lives in areas of abundant ornithophilic mosquitoes and can act as a host, contributing to the proliferation of the virus (Jourdain et al, 2007). S. decaocto is also a carrier of the Pigeon circovirus which causes illness and mortality in the Columbiformes family (Kubicek & Taras, 2005).
The Eurasian collared-dove is a popular game bird (Romagosa, 2002).
Introduction pathways to new locations
Natural dispersal: Streptopelia decaocto typically disperses under 300 km away from its hatching site but has been known to disperse over 1,000 km in some instances (Romagosa, 2002).
Pet/aquarium trade: The introduction of Streptopelia decaocto to the Bahamas and ultimately the Caribbean and North America likely resulted from an escape of birds from a pet breeder in Nassau 1974 (Smith 1987). Additional introductions have been documented in Guadeloupe (Barré et al., 1997) and North America (Romagosa & McEneaney, 2000).
Local dispersal methods
Natural dispersal (local): Streptopelia decaocto typically disperses under 300 km away from its hatching site but has been known to disperse over 1,000 km in some instances (Romagosa, 2002).
Physical: Streptopelia decaocto is popularly hunted in the United States where it abundantly populates southeastern states. Due to its status as an introduced species, it is not protected and hunting is generally encouraged. However, hunting is often limited to native dove seasons and differs from state to state. Hunting is expected to reduce populations in rural areas but suburban populations will remain unaffected. Legal protection was removed in Britain and is considered as a pest species (Romagosa, 2002).
Streptopelia decaocto feeds on primarily seed and cereal grain but also consumes fruits, berries, plants, and small invertebrates. It relies heavily on food provided by humans including bird feeders, agricultural grain, and animal feed. Most of its feeding is done on the ground pecking seeds, but is known to feed on elevated bird feeders and berries on bushes and trees (Romagosa, 2002).
Oviparous, sexual. Streptopelia decaocto usually breeds between February and October in most of its range but may breed year-round in India, or other warm regions if food is abundant. Courting consists of males showing nest site and calling to females. Female acceptance is indicated by allo-preening and a nest call. Clutches typically consist of only 2 eggs with the first egg being significantly larger. Incubation is performed by both parents for about 15 days when eggs hatch. Young are fed by regurgitation. Hatching is asynchronous at an interval of 12-40 hours. Fledging occurs about 18 days after hatching. Most young become independent by 30-40 days old (Romagosa, 2002).
Eggs typically hatch after 15 days of incubation. Young are brooded for 10-12 days after hatching and fed by parental regurgitation of crop milk; seeds are eventually introduced to the diet. Fledging occurs at around 18-20 days, and are completely independent by 30-40 days old. Sexual maturity is usually reached by its first spring. In Europe first year mortality is 50-70%, adult mortality 33-55% annually thereafter. The longest known lifespan of the Eurasian collared-dove was 13 years 8 months (Romagosa, 2002).
Reviewed by: Christina M. Romagosa, Center for Forest Sustainability, Department of Biological Sciences, Auburn University.
Compiled by: Compiled by: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII), Comité français de l'UICN (IUCN French Committee) & IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)
Last Modified: Friday, 14 March 2008