Flying a flag for the turtle dove

Recently the prime minister of Serbia evoked a wave of indignation throughout Europe. In parliament he stated that in order to bring money into the public purse Serbia should give permission to Italian hunters to shoot the turtle dove. Nature conservation NGO Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia (BPSSS) initiated a protest campaign that is also supported by EuroNatur.

EuroNatur flies a flag for the turtle dove!

© Martin Schneider-Jacoby

The turtle dove is strictly protected according to annex II of the EU’s Birds Directive. As a candidate country, Serbia, too, has to observe this directive. Nevertheless, each year thousands of turtle doves fall victim to the bird hunt in Serbia. In addition to local hunters, tourist hunters from Italy are targeting the strictly protected birds. Turtle dove population numbers are heavily declining throughout Europe. The European Bird Census Council (EBCC) found that European populations of this charismatic species plummeted by 77% since 1980. Adding to habitat destruction, illegal hunt is a major reason for this development.

Serbian EuroNatur partner BPSSS initiated a photo campaign to send politicians a strong signal for the protection of the turtle dove. Following the motto “Ja brinem za grlice - a ti?“ („I do care about turtle doves – and you?”), nature and bird advocates fly a flag for the turtle dove.

Photo campaign of BPSSS on Facebook (in Serbian)

Illegal bird hunt is a severe problem especially in the Balkans, where millions of migratory birds fall victim to hunters every year. Together with its partners, EuroNatur is working to curb bird hunting in the Balkans and to protect migratory birds in their breeding, resting and wintering habitats.

Read more about our work to protect migratory birds

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