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Common Name : Collared Dove     -       Scientific Name : Streptopelia decaocto       -       Other Name : Mala Kobeiyya

This is a resident breeding species, which is native to Asia and Europe. Over the last century it has been one of the great colonizers of the bird world where it has spread from Asia to Europe. Two subspecies have been recognized based on the colour of the skin around the eye. S. d. decaocto with white skin around its eye is found in most of the range including Sri Lanka and S. d. xanthocyclus with yellow skin around its eyes is found from Myanmar east to China.

The conservation status of the species under reference is regarded as “Near Threatened ” (National Red List 2012).
This is a species strictly protected under schedule IV of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

This species occupies the dry coastal strip from Puttalam all the way up to the Jaffna Peninsula. I have found them to be most numerous in areas around Mannar. A small resident population is found at Nawadankulama, a few kilometres south of Puttalam. During my many visits to Mannar to study sea birds and waders, I have observed a sharp rise in the numbers of Collared Doves from Mannar to Vidaththaltivu during the migrant season. They are quite common at Arippu, Nanattan, and the Mannar Island all the way up to Devil’s Point. However I found them to be not so common in Jaffna. In January 2008 I was thrilled to observe a pair in the South at Bundala National Park, as they were known to occur only in the North. By early 2014 nesting was reported at Bundala.

In Wilpattu I have observed this species at Pukkulam and at Eluwankulama. It is not found in the forested areas.