There are at present solely 2,100 breeding pairs of turtle pigeons within the UK – a staggering 98% when it comes to the variety of extremely threatened hen species.
The primary nationwide survey of the pigeon – lengthy thought of an emblem of affection – reveals an alarming decline because of habitat loss within the UK’s breeding grounds and extinction. looking was unsustainable because it migrated throughout Europe to and from Africa.
Final yr’s research by volunteers, farmers, analysis teams, county hen golf equipment and different organisations, which documented turtle pigeon species throughout their UK vary, confirmed present estimates there are about 2,100 pairs, down from 125,000 in 1970.
However wildlife charity RSPB stated there was hope for the species, with options now in place to deal with the threats it faces.
These actions embrace Operation Turtle Dove – a partnership of conservation organizations driving efforts to revive and create habitat for breeding birds within the UK, with advisers to assist managers soil creates the bushes and tall hedges they want and offers additional meals for the seeds.
RPSB says new agri-environmental applications are required within the UK, replaces EU funds for post-Brexit farming, continues to help farmers in implementing eco-friendly measures wild animals on their land.
Turtle pigeons are additionally threatened by unsustainable looking practices which have seen some million birds per yr shot in southwestern Europe till not too long ago, together with migratory birds. between Europe and Africa.
However in 2021, for the primary time, France, Spain or Portugal is not going to enable pigeon looking.
Birds, Europe’s solely long-distance migratory pigeons, are recognized for his or her “growl” calls and the seashell sample on their wing feathers – together with their look within the track The Twelve. Days Of Christmas.
‘These outcomes paint a transparent image’
The species are actually concentrated in southeastern and japanese England and as far north as Yorkshire, the survey discovered.
Andrew Stanbury, RSPB conservation scientist, stated: “Within the 70s, there have been data of flocks of greater than 500 birds, and the UK inhabitants was estimated at 125,000 pairs.
“Whereas these outcomes paint a transparent image with the numbers, the highway forward stays clear and we’ve got a very good probability to show this hen’s fortunes round.
“We count on that the 2021 survey will characterize the bottom inhabitants rating.”
Phil Grice, principal ornithologist at authorities conservation company Pure England, stated: “The truth that looking is at present not allowed on the Western European flyway offers us with an enormous alternative to reverse course. The decline of one of many UK’s most threatened hen species is believed to be.
“Offering good nesting atmosphere, within the type of tall hedges and mature shrubs, and an ample seed supply all through late spring and summer season shall be essential.”