Dove in Texas

There are seven species of doves and pigeons indigenous to Texas, of which only three (mourning dove, white-winged dove, and white-tipped dove) are currently hunted. Two species (red-billed pigeon and band-tailed pigeon) are currently listed as legal game birds by federal and state regulations but are not hunted in Texas due to limited numbers and distribution. Two other species (Inca dove and common ground-dove) are sparrow-sized birds with no potential for hunting and for which no formal management actions are undertaken.

The conservation, management, and equitable use of these birds in Texas requires hunting regulations, habitat management, population monitoring, and research. Hunting regulations must be modified periodically due to population and habitat changes to insure the wise use of these resources. The migratory nature of these species as well as international treaty obligations requires coordination of these regulations between states, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and foreign governments. Major land use changes including agricultural, commercial, and urban development have adversely affected some bird species in Texas, primarily through the loss of nesting and feeding habitat. Since the vast majority of land in Texas is in private ownership, private land management is essential in offsetting the detrimental effects of land use changes.

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