30 July 2001
Turtle doves hit by farm methods

By FWi staff

INTENSIVE farming methods are to blame for a slump in the number of turtle doves in Britain, says the Game Conservancy Trust.

Numbers of the bird, which was once a common sight in the countryside, are believed to have dropped by 70% over the past 30 years.

A study by the trust, funded by English Nature and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), found birds are struggling to find seeds to eat from weeds.

The weeds are usually destroyed by farmers in a bid to maximise crop yields, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Another factor in the decline of the species is thought to be the removal of hedgerow and woodland habitats.

The report calls on farmers to plant and manage more hedges and to create weed-rich feeding areas, reports the paper.