The European Turtle Dove, a very common bird in our fields a few years ago, it has experienced a marked decline (> 70%) in Europe in the last decades which has awakened the signals of alarm about his situation. This bird, which is highly valued as a hunting species, is also a great unknown because few scientific studies about their basic biology in the Iberian Peninsula. The Research Institute in resources Cinegéticos (IREC), mixed Center CSIC, UCLM and the JCCM, initiated research with this species two years ago, in collaboration with the Spanish society of Ornithology (SEO/Birdlife), the Centre of science i Forest technology of Catalonia (CTFC) and the Catalan ornithological Institute (ICO) in Spain, the Office National de la Chasse et la Faune Sauvage (ONCFS) in France and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in the United Kingdom, focusing on assessing trends population, the determination of the origin of individuals hunted in our country, or the relationship between hunting and population abundances. Some results of these studies indicate a global loss of 40% of the breeding populations in our country since 1996, but with certain differences according to regions.
This is why the IREC this spring-summer 2018 begins a new research project of the European Turtle Dove thanks to the support of the Ministry for the ecological transition through the biodiversity Foundation, which seeks to address the causes of this study decline. This project, which also collaborate the CTFC and the General direction of the Natural Environment of the Board of Castilla y León, will evaluate the productivity of the species in areas with different population trends. On the other hand, it will also examine the migratory routes of this species, to assess whether there are differences in these populations. For is last goal marked individuals of European Turtle Dove with issuers of tracking satellite that will allow us to know its location during the migration to the areas of hibernated in sub-Saharan Africa. This project also has the support in Catalonia the Subdirectorate General of hunting activities and Continental fishing of the Generalitat de Catalunya, as well as the Delta Birding Festival (Festival International of Ornithology of the Delta of Ebro). The results of the project will allow expand knowledge on the reproductive biology of the Turtle Dove in Spain and about their migratory routes. It is information will be useful to develop appropriate measures for its management.