Ensuring safe passage for turtle doves on migration

Turtle doves spend two thirds of their time outside the UK. Since turtle doves also face threats on migration through Europe and on their African wintering grounds it’s essential that we also work alongside conservation partners in Europe and Africa to help this bird all along the turtle dove flyway. RSPB are in a good position to do this as part of the BirdLife International network.

We are working with conservationists, scientists and other key stakeholders all along the turtle dove flyway – from England to Senegal – to develop conservation solutions to save turtle doves.

One threat we can begin to tackle through better partnership working is unsustainable levels of turtle dove hunting in Europe. At present there are insufficient data available about the number of turtle doves hunted every year to determine what level of hunting – if any – is sustainable. So a priority for us is to gather the evidence base.

In 2015, an EU LIFE+ funded project to develop an International Species Action Plans for turtle doves. RSPB are taking the lead on developing the plan, and we are collaborating closely with stakeholders from across the turtle doves European and African range to develop a flyway scale plan on how to conserve this iconic species (click here for more information).

Photo: international conservationists developing conservation solutions for migratory birds including turtle doves, photo credit – Tara Proud