In a official document of the Ministry of the Environment, which came into force 3 August, it is highlighted that “in the hunting season of 2021-2022 the hunting of the turtledove is not allowed”, taking into account that “the populations of the common turtledove (Streptopelia turtur) have shown a significant decrease over the last few years, despite the protection measures already taken, such as the reduction in the number of hunting days and the daily amounts to be slaughtered”.

The ordinance highlights that this protection measure is in line with similar decisions taken by the EU countries crossed by the western migratory route of this species.

“Thus, the essential condition for this measure to have a significant impact on the common turtledove populations is fulfilled”, it is underlined.

The measure had already been announced last week by the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF), which then pointed out that, working together with organizations in the hunting sector and non-governmental organizations for the environment, it has been taken in recent years, measures to restrict hunting of this bird.

European Turtle-dove Call (Streptopelia turtur)

On Saturday, the 1st level Hunting Sector Organizations (OSC) criticised the ICNF decision in a statement and demanded compensation for the hunting sector.

The CSOs criticised the timing, which was announced to these entities by email two weeks before the opening of the hunt, “without any consultation and discussion with interested parties”, after being published last 10 May an ordinance provided for the hunting permission of this species on 15 and 22 August and on 5 and 12 September 2021, during the morning period, until 1:00 pm.

“A decision like this could never have been taken without any consultation and discussion with the interested parties”, accused the 1st level CSOs.

Underlining the “very large investments” made by hunting areas for specific management for the hunting of the common turtledove, the booking and sale of hunts, travel scheduling and hotel reservations, the CSOs stressed that the losses resulting from the ban “is something for which the Portuguese State has to take responsibility for”.

Photo by Yuvalr Wikicommons CC BY-SA 3.0