Totot: Extinct on Guam

Scientific Name: Ptilinopus roseicapilla (Family COLUMBIDAE)

Common Name: Rose capped fruit dove

Chamorro Name: Totot or Tottot

Audio sample of the Totot

Habitat and Natural History: The totot lives in the limestone forest and in secondary growth canopies. They feed on fruit, largely papaya, figs and inkberry. They make flimsy nests in the forks of trees. They are shy, staying high in the tree canopy. They lay a single egg in a bare twig platform nest in the fork of a tree. Nests are found six to twenty feet above the ground.

Description: The totot are small, about twenty-four centimeters long. The forehead is red. The head, back and breast are grey with a yellow underbelly. Males and females look the same. Juvenile birds are completely green.

Range: Guam; Rota, Tinian, Saipan and Agiguan in the Northern Mariana islands. Endemic to the Mariana Islands.

Current Status: Extinct on Guam, with the last sighting on Guam in 1985. They are held in captive breeding programs in U.S. mainland zoos since 1993. They are considered endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, also known as the World Conservation Union.

Threats: Habitat loss and predation by the Brown tree snake and over hunting.

By Gretchen R. Grimm, MS