US Fish & Wildlife Service
Date of this Version
Sanders, T. A. 2012. Band-tailed pigeon population status, 2012. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Bird Management, Washington, D.C.
This report summarizes information on the abundance and harvest of band-tailed pigeons (Patagioenas fasciata) in the western United States and British Columbia from 1968 through 2011. The all-bird Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) provides an annual index to abundance of Pacific Coast and Interior band-tailed pigeons since 1968, while the Mineral Site Survey (MSS), implemented in 2004, was developed specifically to index abundance of Pacific Coast band-tailed pigeons. Harvest and hunter participation are estimated from the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program. The BBS provided evidence that the abundance of Pacific Coast band-tailed pigeons decreased (–2.1% per year, credible interval = –6.0 to –0.8) over the long term (1968–2011). Trends in abundance during the recent 10- and 5-year periods were inconclusive. The MSS, however, provided some evidence that abundance decreased during the recent 8- (–4.7% per year CI = –11.2 to 0.9) and 5-year (–4.0% per year, CI = –10.1 to 2.0) periods, but results were inconclusive. Current (2011) estimates of total harvest, active hunters, and total hunter days afield were 11,900 ± 2,125 (estimate ± SE) birds, 4,900 hunters, and 12,800 ± 2,416 days afield. Composition of harvest was 15.3% (48 of 313) hatching year birds during the 2011 season. For Interior band-tailed pigeons, the BBS provided evidence that abundance decreased (–5.3% per year, 95% CI = – 9.5 to –2.2) over the long term (1968–2011). Trends in abundance during the recent 10- and 5-year periods were inconclusive. Current (2011) estimates of total harvest, active hunters, and total hunter days afield were 1,800 ± 560 birds, 1,200 hunters, and 2,800 ± 500 days afield. Harvest comprised 12.5% (2 of 16) hatching year birds during the 2011 season. Current estimates of the age-related vulnerability to harvest for these populations are unavailable.