[Columba livia domestic breed, invasive entity also alien for Italy]

  • Giovanni Boano | g.boano@gmail.com Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Carmagnola (TO), Italy.
  • Fabio Perco Stazione Biologica Isola della Cona, Staranzano (GO), Italy.
  • Marco Pavia Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy.
  • Natale Emilio Baldaccini Dipartimento di Biologia, Università degli Studi di Pisa, Italy.


[The Rock Dove (Columba livia) is a polytypic species originally confined to coastal and inland cliffs of western Palaearctic and northern Ethiopian regions and to those of Indian subcontinent. The present distribution is confused by extensions of range through hybridization with feral stock, which have determined its diffusion in geographical areas and environments that are very different and distant from the original ones, with a naturalized distribution now virtually cosmopolitan. Besides a substantial number of domestic breeds reared and maintained in this state, Columba livia is now represented by the original wild populations, generally in decline, and by feral populations, originated from abandoned or escaped domestic individuals. These populations developed above all, but no exclusively, in the cities, starting from the end of the XVIII century, with a further significant increase during the second post-war period, In this work, after having examined and discussed the distribution of the species resulting from the Pleistocene fossil findings and from the historical ornithological literature, we advance the hypothesis that wherever there are free-living populations showing phenotypic, biometric or genetic characteristics different from the wild morphotype, it is legitimate to consider these populations as an alien complex of domestic origin, to be controlled by culling and, when possible, eradicated. On the side-lines of this work, the Authors hope for a reconsideration of Italian names of this species.]

[Article in Italian]



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Rock Dove, Feral Pigeon, original distribution, Pleistocene fossils, invasive species
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How to Cite
Boano, G., Perco, F., Pavia, M., & Baldaccini, N. E. (2019). [Columba livia domestic breed, invasive entity also alien for Italy]. Rivista Italiana Di Ornitologia, 88(2), 3-10. https://doi.org/10.4081/rio.2018.356