Update on Hunting and Conservation of the Turtle Dove in Europe

FACE’s latest report reveals how Hunters have been actively supporting and implementing the Turtle Dove Adaptive Harvest Management in the EU.

The 2021 hunting season was the first year of implementation of the Adaptive Harvest Management (AHM) for hunting of the Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur) in the EU. According to last year’s recommendations by the European Commission (EC), Turtle Dove hunting was closed in the Western flyway (France, Spain, Portugal and part of Italy) and reduced by more than 50% in the Central/Eastern flyway (Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Malta, Romania, and Cyprus although part of a different flyway).

For more information about the initial phase of the Turtle Dove AHM, see last year’s report from FACE.


In addition to Member States’ work on AHM, an updated version of the population model was prepared, this year with the inclusion of estimated population trajectories for both flyways, as requested by FACE last year.

These models show that there is scope for a small harvest in both flyways and the update of the population data by the Pan European Common Birds Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS), which now accounts for 3 more years, up to 2020, indicates that the population in the Western flyway has been stable since 2013 (when high levels of hunting were taking place) and declining in the Central/Eastern flyway.

This continued decline led the EC to recommend a moratorium on hunting of the species in the Central/Eastern flyway for the season 2022 although conditions agreed last year have largely been met and time to assess their outcome is still needed, in line with the core principles of AHM.

These updates were discussed on Friday 18 March 2022 at the first meeting of the NADEG Task Force on the Recovery of Birds. The conclusions of these discussions were then reported back to the EU Expert Group on Nature Directives (NADEG) which discussed it on Wednesday 6 April 2022. FACE participated in both meetings.

This report provides an update on the first year of implementation of Turtle Dove AHM in the EU, with details on:

  • FACE’s observations on the updated population model
  • Details of significant efforts made by Member States and hunting organizations in the field of habitat management, research and enforcement efforts that took place since last year’s decisions.
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