We investigated the abundance and breeding habitat use of the turtle dove Streptopelia turtur in the Basque Country (northern Spain). Censuses employed 500 m transects, distributed across 100 grid
Km2 cells where the species was previously known to occur.
Turtle doves were only detected in two out of four biogeographic sectors
sampled. The species was found in forested habitats, riparian forests
and evergreen oak patches in particular, but its abundance decreased as
tree cover increased. The abundance in farmland was lower, probably as a
consequence of the scarcity of adequate nest sites. The range
contraction described for this population stresses its unfavourable
conservation status and the need to implement action, especially in
relation to its breeding habitats.
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