FESTIVE bird the turtle dove is now extinct in East Lancashire.
The dainty bird, which is slightly larger than a blackbird, has not been seen in Lancashire since 2009 and a survey of breeding and wintering birds has found that there are now none living in the region.
The Lancashire Wildlife Trust put their disappearance down to changing agricultural practices.
Steve White, editor of The State of Lancashire’s Birds, said: “This has become the first species to have become extinct as a breeding bird in the region since corncrakes finally disappeared in the latter half of the 20th century.”
Turtle doves, which could be found all over East Lancashire, are chestnut and black and have a black tail.
They eat seed grain from weeds which are in decline as farmers are using the land for crops and grazing.
Mr White said: “This survey has provided a unique snapshot of the state of the birds of Lancashire and North Merseyside at the start of the 21st century.
Source: Lancashire Telegraph