US Fish & Wildlife Service
Date of this Version
Sanders, T. A. 2011. Band-tailed pigeon population status, 2011. 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 2010. 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 (–2.6% per year, credible interval = –5.1 to –1.1) over the long term (1968–2010). Trends in abundance during the recent 10- and 5-year periods were inconclusive. The MSS, however, provided evidence that abundance decreased during the recent 7- (–8.1% per year CI = –15.2 to –2.0) and 5-year (–8.4% per year, CI = –14.3 to –3.1) periods. Current (2010) estimates of total harvest, active hunters, and total hunter days afield were 18,400 ± 4,224 (estimate ± SE) birds, 6,400 hunters, and 13,700 ± 2,307 days afield. Composition of harvest was 21.7% (73 of 336) hatching year birds during the 2010 season. For Interior band-tailed pigeons, the BBS provided evidence that abundance decreased (–4.3% per year, 95% CI = –8.2 to –1.4) over the long term (1968–2010). Trends in abundance during the recent 10- and 5-year periods were inconclusive. Current (2010) estimates of total harvest, active hunters, and total hunter days afield were 5,000 ± 1,582 birds, 4,100 hunters, and 13,600 ± 2,498 days afield. Harvest comprised 16.0% (4 of 25) hatching year birds during the 2010 season. Current estimates of the age-related vulnerability to harvest for these populations are unavailable.