19 May 2015

19 May 15 - Have You Seen An Orange Dove In The UK This Summer?

The results of this May's UK National Bird survey are in and it has highlighted an 86% drop in Orange Doves in the UK in the last five years. In the last survey, this species was found in 57 pockets scattered from the South West & Southern England to its strongholds in Scotland, especially in the Highlands & Islands. But the latest survey has shown the Orange Dove has crashed in all these areas, with just eight isolated populations left in the UK.
Orange Dove: A rare species I have yet to photograph (so I had to borrow this image - copyright the Lib Dems) 
When asked for an official government comment, a senior spokesman looked up briefly from his plate of roast Grouse & Peasant (surely a typo Ed) & laughed. After recovering his composure, he blamed the Badgers & promised to extend their slaughter. Off the record, he admitted the Badger slaughter in the last few years was a secret trial to protect the Orange Doves in the South West. The cull to reduce TB was purely a cover story. Despite its failure, with no Orange Doves found in the latest survey, the spokesman was adamant the Badger cull had to press on to protect the Orange Dove. When asked what scientific evidence backed up the cull, he pointed out the lack of Badgers on the Shetlands, the only place in Scotland where the Orange Dove has clung on.
Badger: The cause of the decline of Orange Doves according to a Government spokesman. Poole Harbour (Apr 14)
He then added, don't be complacent, Foxy, we know you are guilty as well & will be coming for you, just as soon as we have introduced tax breaks for anybody who likes to wear a red jacket & white jodphurs whilst riding their horses.
Fox: Another species implicated in the decline of Orange Doves according to the Government spokesman. Middlebere (12 Sep 14)
The President of the leading IQ40 Bird Watching Club was surprisingly elated. Mr 'Bear' Lee Credible has been known to birdwatchers for many years for his extreme views. He quoted, Mr Farfetched, the press officer of UKIQP, the IQ40's political arm of the IQ40 club, who has blamed the decline of Orange Doves on Foreign Doves coming over here & causing the problem. But ever the opportunist, Bear Lee encouraged people to sign up for his Round Britain tours which will visit the remaining strongholds for Orange Doves.

Many conservationists are worried about the future of the Orange Dove as historically this species has been on long term decline. It was widely established across the UK, but has been in terminal decline since the widespread planting of Red Roses in the UK after the First World War.