Government urged to save turtledoves

Valentine’s Day is a special occasion for lovebirds, but real lovebirds – turtledoves – are struggling, according to BirdLife Switzerland. Their numbers have plummeted by 80% in Europe since 1980.  “Save the turtledoves,” BirdLife urged in a statement on Friday. The reasons for the sharp decline are habitat loss, poaching and legal but no longer sustainable hunting, it said.  The loss of suitable habitats for breeding is related to the advancing industrialisation of agriculture, the organisation explained.  Turtledoves feed on seeds. In the past, numerous plant species could be found on unpaved paths in cultivated land, and so-called arable flora grew in fields, a rich group of valuable plants which have almost completely disappeared today.  “Herbicides and the frequent cultivation of the soil with agricultural machinery make it almost impossible for these plants to survive,” says the report.  BirdLife Switzerland is calling for a rethink and an agricultural policy that better ...
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