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Ring Dove

Ring Dove
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family Columbidae
Genus: Streptopelia
Species: rosaria
Binomial name
Streptopelia rosaria ''

The Ring Dove, Ringneck Dove or Barbary Dove, Streptopelia rosaria, is a small domestic dove.

Although the Ring Dove is normally assigned its own systematic name, as Streptopelia rosaria, considerable doubt exists as to its appropriate classification. Some sources confidently assert that it is a domestic form of the Eurasian Collared Dove, S. decaocto, while others declare with equal confidence that it is a domesticated form of the African Collared Dove, S. roseogrisea. It appears that it can hybridise freely with either species, and its status as a species must therefore be regarded as doubtful. However because of the wide use of both the common and systematic names, it is best to consider it separately from either of the putative parent species.

Ring Doves have been domesticated for 2000 to 3000 years. They are easily kept, and long-lived, in captivity, living for up to 12 years, and are noted for their gentle nature. In recent years they have been used extensively in biological research, particularly into the hormonal bases of reproductive behaviour, because their sequences of courtship, mating and parental behaviour have been accurately described and are highly consistent in form. Dove fanciers have bred them in a great variety of colours; the number of colours available has increased dramatically in the latter half of the twentieth century, and it is thought that this has been achieved by interbreeding with S. roseogrisea.

Feral populations of Ring Doves establish themselves readily as a result of escapes from captivity, but they will merge with local populations of Collared Doves if they exist. There is a small feral population in Los Angeles, California, where neither S. decaocto nor S. roseogrisea is currently found.

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