Mourning Dove Population Status, 2021

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Mourning Dove Population Status, 2021

The mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) is one of the most abundant bird species in North America, and is familiar to millions of people. Authority and responsibility for management of this species in the U.S. is vested in the Secretary of the Interior. This responsibility is conferred by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 which, as amended, implements migratory bird treaties between the U.S. and other countries. Mourning doves are included in the treaties with Great Britain (for Canada) and Mexico (U.S. Department of the Interior 2013). These treaties recognize sport hunting as a legitimate use of a renewable migratory bird resource. Maintenance of dove populations in a healthy, productive state is a primary management goal. Management activities include population assessment, harvest regulation, and habitat management. Each year, tens of thousands of doves are banded and thousands of wings from harvested doves are analyzed to estimate annual survival, harvest rates, recruitment, and abundance. The resulting information is used by wildlife managers in setting annual hunting regulations (USFWS 2017). Past federal frameworks for hunting mourning doves in the U.S. are in Appendix A.

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Grayscale U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service logo
Wildlife Biologist
Migratory Birds,
Webless Migratory Game Bird Program
Additional Role(s)
Webless Migratory Game Bird Biologist,
Acting Chief for the Branch of Assessment and Decision Support,
Oversees the Webless Migratory Game Bird Program,
Mourning Dove Wingbee Coordinator
Publication date
Type of document
Annual Report
A large bird with brown feathers, white head, and yellow beak flies against a pale blue sky
The Migratory Bird Program works with partners to protect, restore and conserve bird populations and their habitats for the benefit of future generations by: ensuring long-term ecological sustainability of all migratory bird populations, increasing socioeconomic benefits derived from birds,...
Subject tags
Migratory birds
Game birds
Population status
Bird banding
Work of the Service