TWITCHERS in Dartford and Gravesend are being urged to save the turtle dove from extinction by reporting sightings of the elusive bird to the RSPB.
Figures show the population of turtle doves has fallen by 84 per cent in the south east since 1995 and 93 per cent nationally since 1970.
The RSPB estimates there could be less than 1,000 pairs left by 2020 and says a complete UK extinction as a breeding species was also “a real possibility.”
Operation turtle dove has been re-launched for a second year by the charity, which is asking for members of the public to report sightings of the endangered bird.
Last summer 425 calls were received, which helped to map where the birds are breeding and where to focus conservation efforts.
RSPB south east farmland bird advisor Bruce Fowkes said: “It’s great that so many people are looking out for these birds and supported Operation turtle dove last year.