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RSPB reports significant decrease of turtle doves in the South East
TURTLE doves in the South East have dropped by 86 per cent since 1994, the RSPB has warned.
Summer visitors to the UK, they were once a common sight across farmland in the county and are aasily distinguished from other species of dove by their diminutive size, and chestnut and black mottled colouring on the wings.
The species no longer breeds in Wales and there are fears it could soon disappear as a breeding bird in England too, with only a few strongholds remaining in south east England and East Anglia.
Hayley New, RSPB Agricultural Projects Officer for the South East, said: “Turtle dove numbers are reaching drastically low levels; the prospect of losing this beautiful bird from our shores is becoming increasingly real.
"They were once widespread but have suffered a massive decline in the south east in the last few decades alone. A reduction in breeding attempts from up to four per year to just one has had a huge impact on the population numbers.”
To help reverse the fortunes of the turtle dove, the RSPB is calling on landowners in Hampshire to consider establishing pollen and nectar mixes targeting the doves as part of their Environmental Stewardship agreements, or as a voluntary option.
For further advice on helping the turtle dove, please call Hayley New on 01273 763616 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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