The endangered turtle dove will once again be hunted in Spain this year even after the European Commission has described Spain’s methods for preserving the species as inadequate.
The Ministry for Ecological Transition (MITECO) has been notified by the European Commission that infringement procedures should be implemented amid the declining number of turtle doves in Spain. MITECO have put in place a partial ban from mid-August until the end of September during mating season, but the European Commission has deemed this a consolatory measure that will not restore the number of the species to where it needs to be.
Professional hunters have estimated that somewhere between 500,000 and 800,000 turtle doves will be killed in the upcoming season. Some areas in Spain have denounced the fact that the turtle dove population is declining, others have chosen to accept the European Commission’s assessment and enforced a partial hunting ban. Asturias, the Canary Islands, Valencia and the Basque Country have all pledged to help repopulate the species in their autonomous communities.
The SEO/Birdlife NGO has gained the support of 40,000 citizens all over Spain to help protect the turtle dove until it has adequately replenished its numbers.