Christmas may soon need to find a new tune, as Turtle Doves are one of the UK's most endangered species, according to a new report.
The Turtle Dove has suffered one of the fastest rates of decline in recent years, witnessing a reduction in numbers of 90% in the UK since 1971. The study pinpointed hunting and fluctuating cereal crops in Africa during the species' winter migration as the biggest reason for its decline.
Also in the list, compiled by digital TV channel Eden, are Red Squirrels, Scottish Wildcats and Hedgehogs, all of which could be extinct with the next 40 years.
UKTV's General Manager of Factual, Adrian Wills, said: "Our natural wildlife is suffering from habitat loss, flooding, climate change and pollution amongst other important factors, and if it wasn't for the impressive work of our conservation organisations, the report would make for even more grim reading. We can all do our bit to help these animals living on our own doorstep to ensure they are not lost forever".
The research team, led by conservationist Doctor Toni Bunnell, a retired zoology lecturer, used current research, expert opinion and recorded sightings to create an overview of UK-based wildlife most at risk.
The study looked at the reasons for each species' deterioration, as well as the estimated rate of decline and the recent population statistics.
"We have managed to link population numbers with rates of decline to estimate species most under threat for the first time," Dr Bunnell, who runs a hedgehog sanctuary near York, told the Telegraph.
She added: "There are a number of issues of course, including some in other countries when it comes to migratory birds, but if there was one above all others that needs to be addressed I would say it is habitat loss."
The study notes that two bird species are most at risk. The Red-Necked Phalarope is down to 36 breeding pairs in the UK, while the Black-Tailed Godwit has seen a 33% decline in the past 15 years alone and is most at threat due to habitat loss.
The Natterjack Toad is named as the UK's most endangered amphibious species with only 2,500 breeding females now resident in the UK, and in severe danger of disappearing from our waters due to a combination of factors including sea-level rises.
The Department for Transport has responded to this threat, declaring the toad a "biodiversity priority species," allowing councils to extend the time migratory toad crossing road signs can be put up by one month.
The Eden study's top 10 list of endangered species in the UK:
1 Red-necked phalarope
2 Black-tailed godwit
3 Scottish wildcat
6 Red squirrel
7 Turtle dove
8 Natterjack toad
9 Brown hare