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Evaluating Natural England's Turtle Dove HLS package - LM0454

The turtle dove is declining faster than any other bird in England (by 88% since 1995) and is one of 52 birds listed on Section 41 and, hence, is considered by the Secretary of State as ‘of principal importance for the conservation of biodiversity in England’. ELMS are the principal mechanism to deliver sympathetic land management for the species. However, due to the rate of decline and, hence, increasing scarcity of the species, previous work evaluating the delivery of ELMS for farmland birds have not been able to include the turtle dove. This is despite the fact that the species has been the subject of a dedicated species recovery initiative Operation Turtle Dove (see which undertakes a range of targeted actions, including promoting a package of turtle dove-friendly land management measures to farmers through HLS. There is, therefore, an urgent need to evaluate the efficacy of HLS for turtle doves.
2.1 To assess whether bespoke HLS management delivers suitable nesting and foraging habitats for turtle doves.
2.2 To assess whether turtle doves select areas of bespoke management relative to availability.
2.3 To assess whether deployment of the Turtle Dove HLS Package can halt or reverse population decline at the farm scale (note: this will require a subsequent re-survey).
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : LM0454 Evaluating Turtle Dove HLS Package Final Report   (770k)
• TPS - Two Page Summary : LM0454 Evaluating Turtle Dove HLS Package 2 page summary   (348k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2015

To: 2015

Cost: £40,272
Contractor / Funded Organisations
British Trust For Ornithology (BTO)