I am delighted to see so much recent interest in
Spotted Doves (aka Spotted Turtle Doves) on the COG hot line.
Last year (2009), I sought help from Birds
Australia, as I had a recollection that a past "Wingspan" had reported them as
serious pests in Alice Springs.
BA sent me some information,
including a Fact Sheet from the NT Govt Dept of Natural Resources etc which
in summary said:
"Feral Spotted Turtle Doves first became
established in Alice Springs in the early 1990s when approximately 10 birds were
liberated from a backyard aviary. Since that time, the population has steadily
grown and today [I'd guess 2007 or 2008] numbers are thought to exceed 8000
birds. The Spotted Turtle Dove impacts on the environment and residents of the
town in a number of ways".
The Fact Sheet then lists impacts as their ability
to breed all year round, being very adaptable to the urban environment,
omnivorous, agressive to other species, a nuisance around aviaries, fowl yards
and pet feeding areas, fouling areas with their droppings and disruptive with
their constant cooing.
The Fact Sheet provided information on
identification, guidelines to discouraging them in backyards and very basic
instructions for making a "passive trap" which is a broadly similar to the
trapping chamber of the Pee-Gee trap which CIMAG members use for Indian
I provided BA's information to Chris Davey
& Martin Butterfield and suggested that COG Committee might like to consider
the issue and what might be done about Spotted Doves. Chris and I discussed the
idea of having an intensive study over (say) a year.
I agree with other chat line contributors, that we
should be concerned about perceived increases in populations and reports of
possible breeding. Now is the time to act
I have also spoken to myna expert Chris Tidemann
who thought they would probably be easier to trap than mynas.
Grateful any further views.