Turtle Doves have declined by 95 per cent in the UK since 1970
Providing additional food sources could help halt the dramatic decline in turtle dove numbers, according to the British Ecological Society and the Société Française d’Ecologie.
At a recent conference, researchers from the two organisations outlined how agri-environment schemes that encourage farmers to include areas containing early-seeding arable plants on their land can provide crucial sources of food for many birds, including turtle doves.
By planting these seed-rich plants as widely as possible, they said, farmers may also help reduce the spread of parasites between the birds.
Dr Jenny Dunn and colleagues from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the University of Leeds have studied Turtle Doves across south east England over a four year period.
The research, funded jointly by RSPB and Natural England through the Action for Birds in England (AfBiE) partnership, seeks effective solutions for the bird that is in the fastest decline in England.