Exotic species impact dove season
PRATT -- The Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission voted unanimously to liberalize hunting regulations concerning two exotic dove species -- the Eurasian collared dove and the ringed turtle dove, neither of which are native to North America. Eurasian collared doves in particular have increased their range and numbers in recent years. This regulation will allow unlimited harvest of these species during specified seasons.

The Eurasian collared dove was first documented at Goodland in 1997. Numbers of collared doves observed on the statewide Christmas Bird Count have increased from 14 in 1998 to more than 3,000 in 2007. Collared doves have been reported in all 105 Kansas counties. There isn’t data yet to indicate what impact these non-native birds could have on native species, but they are neither migratory or regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Therefore, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks can establish regulations for hunting these species without federal guidelines.

Under the new regulations, there will be no bag and possession limits for Eurasian collared doves and ringed turtle doves during the dove season. However, if the take of exotic doves causes a hunter’s daily bag to exceed 15, the exotic doves must be transported with a fully feathered wing attached.

The regular dove season opens Sept. 1, 2008, and runs through Oct. 14, then re-opens Nov. 1-16. A separate exotic dove season will open Nov. 20, 2008, and run through February 28, 2009. During this season, only Eurasian collared doves and ringed turtle doves may be taken; there is no daily bag or possession limit; and doves must be transported with a fully-feathered wing attached.