The Cook Islands Fruit-dove Ptilinopus rarotongensis is classified as ‘Vulnerable (VU)’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is endemic to the Cook Islands, and now only occurs on the islands of Rarotonga and Atui (BirdLife International 2008). The population is estimated at 250-999 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2011).
On Rarotonga, it is commonest in hillside and upland forest, often visiting the horticultural lowland areas. On Atiu, it is found in a wide variety of wooded habitats, including the fringes of plantations as well as forest growing on the makatea (a raised coral limestone platform) (BirdLife International 2011).
The Black rat (Rattus rattus) occurs on Rarotonga but does not appear to pose any threat to this species. The introduced Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) which is likely to reduce nesting success of this species in horticultural and village areas, but does not penetrate into heavily forested areas. Introduced exotic avian diseases are also potentially a threat to the Cook Islands Fruit-dove (BirdLife International 2011).