The Turtle Dove is in trouble.
They are vulnerable to global extinction and on the IUCV Red List of Endangered species. Since 1995, they have suffered a catastrophic 94% UK population decline and since 1980, a 78% decline in Europe.
Reasons why is the turtle dove in such trouble are
- the loss of habitat on UK breeding grounds, which means that there are food shortages as well.
- the disease trichomoniasis
- in the EU member states, hunting has killed 2 to 3 million birds, though this number is from old figures.
- In the birds’ winter homes in Africa, many habitats have been turned over to agriculture and livestock don’t help because they overgraze and so cause damage.
They now tend to be seen in the south and east of England, though they do head further north and west as well.
We need to help them before they become extinct Enter Operation Turtle Dove.
About Operation Turtle Dove
This is an urgent mission to reverse the fortunes of this beautiful bird. The RSPB is asking us all to save them.
Operation Turtle Dove is a partnership conservation project between the RSPB, Conservation Grade, Natural England and Pensthorpe Conservation Trust. It was started in the spring of 2012 and it aimed to identify the primary causes of the turtle dove decline and develop and deploy urgent practical solutions.
6 ways to get involved in Operation Turtle Dove
- Create turtle dove habitat, whether you are at home, own land or farm. The website has information – just look for the heading Create Turtle Dove Habitat and choose the option that’s most relevant to you. Gardens and green spaces are useful habitats for turtle doves so make them welcome and hopefully they will come. Farms are helping turtle doves so if you’re a farmer, take a look at these videos to be inspired!
- Find out how to identify a turtle dove and then let the RSPB know if you see one with their Report a Turtle Dove Sighting page. Then they can better idea of how to help turtle doves.
- Take a look at the year of a turtle dove so you can better understand the bird
- Donate to Operation Turtle Dove
- Spread the word through your community and on social media and ask people to help
- Find out what is being done to help these incredible birds and see what else you can do to help
Buy an RSPB singing turtle dove soft toy and support conservation