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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Socorro Dove Zenaida graysoni

Lauren Heck
Version: 1.0 — Published July 25, 2014


Socorro Dove is extinct in the wild (NOM-059 SEMARNAT 2010, BirdLife International 2014). This is a species of high tri-national concern (Mexico-U.S.-Canada) to Partners in Flight (Berlanga et al. 2010), as a species at greatest risk of extinction. There are only about 100 individuals in captivity. Captive populations are maintained by 33 different organizations in 12 countries via captive breeding programs as part of a globally managed breeding program (the Socorro Dove Project). In 2013 six birds were returned to Mexico, to a facility in Valsequillo, Puebla, Mexico, near Mexico City. As of 2013, there were estimated to be 70 individuals in various facilities in Europe, another 37 in the United States, and six in Mexico (American Bird Conservancy 2013).

Plans are under way to eventually reintroduce the species to its native habitat. In the mean time, plans are being developed to eradicate feral cats and sheep from Socorro Island prior to reintroduction. (Carlson et al. 2013, Johns 2013, BirdLife International 2014).

Effects of human activity on populations

Socorro Dove specialized on threatened tropical deciduous forest habitats and was found on a single small island - Socorro in the Revillagigedo Islands, in Mexico. Its extirpation has been attributed to predation by feral cats as well as the removal of protective vegetation due to overgrazing by goats. In addition, it faces threats from urbanization, unsustainable wood harvesting, and unregulated hunting.

Recommended Citation

Heck, L. (2014). Socorro Dove (Zenaida graysoni), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.socdov1.01