Socorro Dove

(Zenaida graysoni)




Facts about this animal

The Socorro Doves measure 26,5-34 cm. It is a medium-sized, principally terrestrial dove, as reflected in tarsus length, and weigh about 190 g. Male has deep cinnamon head and underparts, with black streak on lower ear-coverts, blue-grey nape and iridescent pink neck patch. Female and juvenile coloration is slightly duller. Typical of many island birds isolated from natural predators, Socorro Doves show no fear by man. This specie is also called "Solitary Dove" because his exlorer, A.J. Grayson, never saw more than one or two at a time. The male doves seem to be very aggressive. They chase their female during advertising and also their juveniles, probably to protect them from Buteo jamaicensis socorroriensis. In Socorro Doves, the advertising Coo begins with a disyllabic coo, followed by three single coos, and ends with another disyllabic coo, or "Coo-oo, OO, OO, OO, Coo-oo" (5.24 sec). Virtually there is nothing known about breeding in the wild. In captive the female generally lay two small, white eggs in a nestboxe placed 1-2,5 m abouve ground. The incubation lasts 14-17 days. The young squabs fledge after 14-20 days.

Did you know?
that the Socorro dove is thought to have been extirpated primarily by feral cats? Also indiscriminate hunting and high levels of understorey grazing by sheep may have been factors leading to the extinction of the species.


Class AVES
Name (Scientific) Zenaida graysoni
Name (English) Socorro Dove
Name (French) Tourterelle de Socorro
Name (German) Socorrotaube
Name (Spanish) Zenaida de Socorro
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



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Range Socorro Island in the Revillagigedo Islands, off the west coast of Mexico
Habitat In many types of habitat but it was apparently commonest in forested areas above 500 m
Wild population Extinct in the Wild (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population Probably less than a hundred

In the Zoo

Socorro Dove


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 15 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


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Why do zoos keep this animal

The Socorro Dove has not been recorded in the wild since 1972. It was extirpated from the island through a combination of hunting, cat predation, and habitat loss. Fortunately, aviculture has prevented the extinction of the species. Captive breeding programms, involving over 200 birds, have been initiated in Germany and USA and a reintroduction programme was planned for 2006.