The European Turtle-dove Streptopelia turtur in Northwest Africa: a review of current knowledge and priorities for future research


Authors: Saâd HANANE


Published: Volume 64.2, July 2017. Pages 273-287.

Language: English

Keywords: agricultural areas, fruit-trees, man-made environment, Morocco, north Africa and Streptopelia turtur arenicola


In recent decades, a general decline in Palearctic-African migrant birds has been recorded over large areas of the Palearctic. The European Turtle-dove Streptopelia turtur has undergone a rapid and serious decline across its European range, to the extent that it was categorised as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List in 2015. In this review, I synthesise the scientific literature currently available on the Turtle-dove in North Africa S. t. arenicola. I also discuss current knowledge, highlight gaps in data and outline high-priority research guidelines, while attempting to direct research efforts more effectively and to encourage appropriate and sustainable management strategies. Priorities for future research are concentrated in five key areas: (i) demography, (ii) migration, (iii) ecology, (iv) genetics, and (v) parasites and diseases. Setting up an integrated programme of long-term ecological monitoring in North African farmland and woodlands, as well as integrating new technologies into monitoring programmes, is an urgent need. These programmes should be standardised in all countries along the migratory flyway to produce comparable data. Scientific collaboration among research institutions, on national, regional and international scales, should be coordinated for maximum efficacy of the monitoring and research programmes.

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