John Mallor-FRSPBIn this edition we will set aside this money to the study of the migratory routes 2017-04-27 18_27_34-VALÉRIE – LA TOURTERELLE DES BOISof the turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur) and the study of the population of the Black wheatear (Oenanthe leucura) in Ebro lands.

This bird has experienced a strong population decline mainly due to the excessive hunting pressure that it suffers along is migratory path. Being one of the most abundant birds in rural areas in most of Europe in the past, it has become an increasingly rare species with some studies indicating that it can get completely extinguished. One may wonder if the turtle dove can become the passenger pigeon of the 21st century.

According to data from satellite tagged individuals, doves travel from France and the UK to Western Africa following a route that avoids two great geographical barriers: the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert. Now, a single marked individual has shown that some populations may choose a direct path, crossing the Mediterranean and the Sahara straight away instead of overcoming them. This path may be more demanding for the individual but may be safer. Turtle doves breeding in Catalonia may belong to this group and this is what the project aims to find out. Money from DBF 2017 ticket sales will be set aside to raise funds for the project.

P1870511 còpiaThe Black wheatear is a bird that lives in open and sunny spaces and its current distribution is restricted to a part of the Iberian Peninsula and the Maghreb. The Iberian population of Black wheater is estimated in between 4100 and 16000 couples and it’s decreasing. The nesting catalan population is estimated in 401-631 couples and the main populations of Catalonia are situated in south Lleida province and specially in Ebro lands. This species it’s in the Red List of the nesting birds of Catalonia with the “vulnerable” status.

The ornithological association Picampall has done some census to obtain data about the reproductive density of this species at Ebro lands and they think that it’s very important to keep doing census because the ones made this year have had relevant results. Some profits of this edition will be used to keep doing this studies.