Not in fine pen! Turtle doves are on the verge of extinction due to the lack of seeds they eat from crops during the warmer months, experts say
- Turtle doves are critically endangered with 2,100 breeding pairs in the UK
- Many of the birds are taken by hunters in Europe on their annual migration
- The bird’s decline is attributed to a lack of seeds, which it eats in the spring and summer
The turtle dove is the UK’s fastest declining bird species and is critically endangered.
There are now just 2,100 breeding pairs left in the UK, according to the first national census of vulnerable birds.
Large numbers are shot by hunters in Europe on their annual migratory flight of more than 3,000 miles to spend the winter in sub-Saharan Africa.
There are now only 2,100 breeding pairs of lovebirds left in the UK as large numbers are shot by hunters in Europe on their annual migratory flight. Research shows a 98% reduction in species over the past half century
They are believed to be in decline due to a lack of seeds, which they eat from crops during the spring and summer.
Research shows a 98 percent decline in lovebirds over the past half century.
The estimated 2,100 couples in Britain last year are down from 125,000 in 1970.
RSPB’s Andrew Stanbury said: “While these results paint a stark picture with numbers, the way forward is clear and we have a good chance of turning the tide of this bird around.”
The turtle dove is believed to be in decline due to a shortage of seeds, which they eat from crops during the spring and summer. A project called Operation Turtle Dove is working to restore and create new breeding habitats for the bird
Almost 1,000 volunteers, farmers, study groups and county bird clubs took part in the survey. Conservationists also say they hope the number will rise following hunting bans in France, Spain and Portugal.
A project called Operation Turtle Dove, a partnership between the RSPB, conservation organization Fair to Nature, Pensthorpe Conservation Trust and Natural England, is also working to restore and create new breeding habitats for Europe’s only long-distance passenger pigeon species.