Photo: Wild Wonders of Europe/Varesvuo/naturepl.com/www.arkive.org
UK Turtle Doves decline 95% since 1970!
The European Turtle Dove is the fastest declining bird in England, declining 95% over the past 44 years and the State of Europe's Common Birds 2007 report has stated that the decline of Turtle Doves in Europe has fallen 75% since 1980. The causes? Food shortage and disease. The British Ecological Society and the Societe Francaise d'Ecologie recently explained how agricultural environment schemes encouraging farmers to include areas containing early-seeding arable plants on their lands can provide crucial food sources for many birds. By planting seed-rich plants as widely as possible, farmers can also help reduce the spread of parasites between birds. The societies' study detected high levels of Tricohomonas gallinae, the parasite which causes tricohomonas lesions and death in both adults and nestlings. If an analysis confirms a direct link between food availability and health and reproductive success, it is believed that it may be possible the reverse the population trend of Turtle Doves through agri-environment initiatives that provide more seed during the mating season.
Photo by: John A. Thompson / Wikipedia
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