Bird lovers rally to save Christmas icon

A very apt Christmas related conservation project

Green Living London

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Conservationists, farmers and wildlife enthusiasts have rallied to the cause of one of England’s most threatened birds, the turtle dove, which has seen its worst year yet.

Numbers have crashed by 85 per cent since 1995 according to the State of the UK’s Birds report released last week, and sightings this summer were the lowest ever. The British Trust for Ornithology’s recent Bird Atlas has revealed that the turtle dove’s range has shrunk dramatically by 52 per cent between 1970 and 2010, but this year a campaign to save the turtle dove has taken off in a big way.

More than 1,250 people rang in to the Operation Turtle Dove hotline in 2013 to report sightings, helping conservationists build up a vital picture of the birds’ nesting and foraging areas. The top county for sightings were Norfolk, Suffolk and Kent.

Operation Turtle Dove, a partnership project between the RSPB, Conservation Grade…

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