Sunday, 13 May 2012

Turtle doves: RSPB launches rescue mission

Conservationists are embarking on an urgent mission to save one of the UK's most threatened birds - the turtle dove - from extinction.
The three-year project, led by the RSPB, will aim to reverse a decline in the population of the farmland birds; the species is deemed the most likely bird to be extinct in the UK by 2020.
The turtle dove population fell by more than 90% between 1997 and 2010.
The project will aim to restore plants the birds feed on to the countryside.
The birds' diet consists almost entirely of small seeds from wild plants, which grow among crops. Changes in farming practices in recent decades mean these wild flowers - including vetch, fumitory and clover - are now scarce.
As part of the project, the team will work with farmers to plant these seeds on their land.
RSPB spokeswoman Heather Griffiths told BBC Nature: "We known that farms have to be modern and commercially successful.

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