The Passenger Pigeon was the most abundant bird species in the world, with numbers of 5 billion birds at their peak. Within the space of just 50 years, due to habitat loss, excessive hunting and disease they have been persecuted into global extinction.
The Turtle Dove, one of Europe's most common migrating bird species has declined by 78% within just 35 years, due to habitat loss, excessive hunting and disease. They are now on the IUCN Red list of threatened species. Tara Proud, of the RSPB, said: “The decline of the passenger pigeon decline is an unerringly similar story to the decline of our very own turtle dove, which currently is halving in number every six years. It’s too late for passenger pigeons, but 100 years on we don’t have to accept that turtle doves will suffer the same fate.
The parallels are too similar to ignore. Let's learn from our past mistakes and do everything we can to save this majestic species from the same avoidable fate.