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Jan-Mar 2022: Curlew news and views

Russ writes:

Here, we provide a summary of CRP and general Curlew news and views from 01 Jan to 15 Mar 2022:

Published 25 Jan 2022

The increasing concern about the future of breeding Curlews in Ireland has now instigated additional funding for Curlew-specific conservation staff:

Published 22 Feb 2022

A feature on initiatives to help protect ground-nesting birds including Curlews from recreational disturbance in the New Forest National Park:

Published 24 Feb 2022

And a similar feature focussed on Marsden Moor:

Published 01 Mar 2022

This review of The Birds of Wales: Adar Cymru highlights the plight of the Curlew in Wales and includes the following sobering passage:

“The fortunes of other species have not been so favourable, especially ground-nesting waders which have been in parlous and often speedily accelerating decline. The Curlew is one of these and the estimates and predictions for the species in Wales are nothing short of dire: on current modelling this bird – which once graced so many stretches of moorland and delighted people with its musical call ­– is set to become extinct in Wales by 2033.

The relative speed of its disappearance is underlined by reading descriptions of it in north Wales at the beginning of the twentieth century as being ‘common, breeding on all the moorland and on some lowland bogs’ to the extent that ‘throughout the summer months the long rippling whistle or the plaintive call of the Curlew constantly greet the wayfarer on the moorlands…’ Indeed, so familiar was this, our largest breeding wader that there are no fewer than 30 regional names, along with its own saint, St Beuno, who offered the bird his protection. The reasons for the decline seem to be a lack of chick production because of predation or the destruction of nests by silage operations and while much is being done to arrest the precipitous fall in numbers it is firmly on the Red Data list, which is a roll call for extinction.”

Published 14 March 2022

Not sure I agree with the text about Curlews as written in this article, but I concur with the sentiment that Curlew are a totemic species that can galvanise actions that provide wider biodiversity and natural capital benefits:

Published 14 March 2022

A further reminder from the RSPB in Yorkshire about protecting ground-nesting birds including Curlew:

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