International Research

European Action Plan

The International Single Species Action Plan for the Conservation of the European Turtle-dove was completed in 2018. Produced by the RSPB and it's partners, the aim of this plan is to halt, and ultimately reverse, the population decline of the European Turtle Dove. Immediate actions and supporting actions are outlined here, and include:

   1. Good quality habitats, with water and food, are maintained and increased on the breeding grounds and at key stopover and wintering sites;

   2. Illegal killing in the European Union is eradicated and reduced elsewhere;

   3. Hunting across the range of the European turtle-dove is carried out at sustainable levels.


Click below for a copy of the International Single Species Action Plan:


Research in England


Much Turtle Dove research has already taken place in the UK: foraging ecology, habitat use, migratory routes and many other aspects of the Turtle Dove’s ecology have been investigated by organisations such as the RSPB and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.

“Operation Turtle Dove” was set up in 2012 with the aim of “reversing the decline of one of England’s best loved farmland birds”. This project was set up by 4 partners: the RSPB, Conservation Grade, Pensthorpe Conservation Trust and Natural England. Research is being carried out into Turtle dove wintering and breeding grounds, and the project is working alongside farmers and other interested parties to create suitable habitat.

For more information, follow the links below.

Research in Spain


In Spain, 3 Turtle Doves were tagged in 2015 by SEO (Spanish Ornithological Society)/Birdlife as part of the “MIGRA” project (monitoring movements of all migratory species in Spain). While for Turtle Doves the research ended after a pilot year, the development of increasingly small and accurate telemetry tags has led to new research opportunities.

Beatriz Arroyo (of IREC-CSIC, Ciudad Real) and Gerard Bota (of CTFC, Solsona) are leading on a new project set up in 2018. This research is focussed on the habitat selection and small-scale movements of Turtle Doves in the area, and their management and conservation in relation to human activities such as farming and hunting. Accurate tracking technology is being used to follow birds around Catalonia and Castilla La Mancha, and spring 2020 marks the deployment of the first tags after months of preparations and test runs. Their progress can be followed on twitter: Turtle Dove Initiative (in Spanish).

Other smaller scale research has been carried out in Spain, including a study by Alonso & Gutiérrez-Galán into the diet composition of Turtle Doves in Mediterranean forest in 2016. Their research showed that their diet mainly consists of the seeds of wild plants in these areas, with “purple viper's-bugloss” (Echium plantagineum) and “low amaranth” (Amaranthus deflexus) being potentially important food sources.

Coming soon...

Research in Germany


Coming soon...

Research in France


Coming soon...

Research in Senegal


Coming soon...

Research in Malta