Curlew: Urgent work needed to save 'loved' endangered bird – BBC News

Tom Streeter

A venture has been launched to safe the way forward for the curlew which faces regional and nationwide degree extinction.

Farming practices, predators and lack of habitat have led to an enormous drop in breeding pairs and chicks being born.

“They’re deeply beloved and never simply by birders. They take advantage of great noise,” stated Dr Geoff Hilton of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Belief (WWT).

Wildlife teams say curlews needs to be thought of the UK’s most pressing chicken conservation precedence.

There are round 68,000 pairs of breeding curlews within the UK which makes up a few quarter of the breeding international inhabitants.

Numbers have been in long-term decline for the reason that Seventies and have nearly halved within the UK over the previous 20 years.

Curlew chick

Wildfowl and Wetlands Belief

9 organisations, together with Pure England and the RSPB, make up the Curlew Restoration Partnership which was launched initially of March.

It adopted Curlew Restoration Summits hosted by the Prince of Wales, on Dartmoor in 2018 and at Highgrove final 12 months.

“The hauntingly evocative cry of the curlew is now all too seldom heard. This most great chicken wants pressing assist,” stated Prince Charles.

Prince Charles Curlew Recovery Partnership

Charles Sainsbury-Plaice

The WWT at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire is concerned in three conservation initiatives, within the Severn Vale, Dartmoor and Norfolk.

Dr Hilton stated numbers have been steadily disappearing within the south, with “a couple of hundred” pairs left, estimating there have been about 35 within the Severn Vale, 20 in Somerset and that they’d nearly disappeared from Dartmoor.


Wildfowl and Wetlands Belief

“The habitat must be proper and we’re working with farmers to create habitats to assist restore the inhabitants. If we lose the British inhabitants then 1 / 4 of the birds shall be misplaced.

“We’ve got them in Gloucestershire and they’re as a lot a part of the heritage as Gloucester Cathedral,” he stated.

Dr Hilton stated the primary causes for the decline in numbers was lack of habitat and the massive variety of predators within the UK.

“We’ve got misplaced a variety of wetlands and fashionable farming sees fields reduce extra recurrently so the eggs get mown and destroyed.

“They’re additionally in danger from predators like foxes and crows who do not hunt them however are opportunistic and can eat them in the event that they get the possibility,” he stated.

Curlew nest and eggs

Wildfowl and Wetlands Belief

As a part of the Severn Vale venture, WWT has been taking eggs from the wild to incubate and rear chicks safely in aviaries to make sure they survive within the crucial early interval of their lives.

Within the course of generally known as headstarting, chicks are launched again into the wild when they’re sufficiently old to fly.

“After we discover some eggs in a nest we are able to additionally construct a fence round it to guard it and assist enhance numbers. The adults reside for 20 years however they’re producing nearly no fledglings so in some unspecified time in the future the numbers will fall off a cliff.

“We count on the final restoration to be about ten years plus. However getting it proper for curlews means we are able to get it proper for lots of different animals too.”

Dr Geoff Hilton, WWT

Dr Geoff Hilton

Chair of the Curlew Restoration Partnership Mary Colwell stated they have been “decided to reverse the decline”.

“The disappearance of curlews from throughout the open landscapes of England is deeply unhappy and a really tangible reminder of the disaster going through our wildlife,” she added.

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Associated Web Hyperlinks

  • WWT (Wildfowl & Wetlands Belief) – WWT

  • The RSPB Wildlife Charity- Nature Reserves & Wildlife Conservation

  • Curlew Restoration Partnership

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