Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable to decline of 30%
Comments: Based on ongoing habitat loss and hunting/harvesting in many parts of the range, this species likely is declining in area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size, but the rate of decline is unknown. BirdLife International (2008) reported the trend as declining (past and future) at 20-29% over 10 years or three generations and based that conclusion on Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data, but the BBS encompasses only a tiny fraction of the pigeon's range (only Florida) and so is not suitable for global trend estimation. Also, white-crowned pigeons are too poorly sampled by the roadside protocol of the Breeding Bird Survey in Florida to determine population trend. Nevertheless, the current rate of decline probably is less than 30 percent over 10 years or three generations.
Global Long Term Trend: Decline of 30-70%
Comments: Trends are poorly documented, but this species appears to have declined in abundance, number of subpopulations, and area of occupancy throughout large portions of the range; current extent of occurrence is similar to the historical extent (Bancroft and Bowman 2001). The magnitude of decline is unknown but probably exceeds 25 percent.
Arendt et al. (1979) listed populations as decreasing in the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Martin, and Nicaragua; and increasing or stable in Florida, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Barbuda, Antigua, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Panama. In some areas, such as Florida and the Virgin Islands, hunting bans and protection of habitat have resulted in population expansions (Bancroft and Bowman 2001).
Once an abundant breeder in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the white-crowned pigeon is now considered rare on Puerto Rico and uncommon on the larger, more populated of the Virgin Islands (Raffaele 1983). Wetmore (1916) described the species as formerly one of the most abundant species in Puerto Rico, but only in a few isolated localities. However, it is still relatively common in some mangroves, particularly on smaller, more undisturbed islands and some remote coastlines throughout coastal Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (Raffaele 1983).
The Florida population apparently was stable in the early 1990s (Strong et al. 1994, Wiley and Wiley 1979, Wiley 1985) but likely declined considerably with subsequent loss of nesting and foraging habitat. . For the United States, this species was listed as a "Watch List Species-Moderately abundant or widespread with declines or high threats" by Partners in Flight (Rich et al. 2004).