Curlew

Save our Curlews Project - Shropshire

The Curlew is a species very close to our hearts; we are therefore delighted to be involved with an important conservation project taking place in Shropshire this year. 

The Curlew population of this County, in common with most others, is declining rapidly. This project aims to find and monitor nests with cameras to determine the cause of failure or productivity, thus enabling targeted conservation in future years.

Full details of the project are available on the Webzine:

https://biomeecology.com/research/2018/02/save-curlews-project/

IMMEDIATE CONSERVATION ACTION IS DEEMED NECESSARY IF THE EVOCATIVE BUBBLING SONG OF THE CURLEW IS NOT TO BE LOST FROM THE COUNTY FOREVER.
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Breeding Bird Surveys in Wales – Curlews in Trouble

During 2015 BiOME completed a suite of breeding bird surveys in relation to a proposed wind farm development in mid-Wales. These surveys included Vantage Point surveys, Red Kite Milvus milvus surveys, Brown & Shepherd walkover surveys and a detailed programme of Curlew Numenius arquata surveys, which were a key consideration during the Environmental Impact Assessment. At this site up to three pairs of Curlew are known to have bred in the past, with nests typically in a mosaic of Heather Calluna spp. and grassland (‘Ffridd’; an important habitat type in Wales that is also under threat). However, in 2015 just one pair nested and although four eggs were laid, the nest failed early during the incubation process due to predation – a similar story to previous years of monitoring at this site.

The Curlew is one of the UKs most rapidly declining breeding bird species showing a 46% decline across the UK (1994-2010) with declines of 50% evident in Wales and Scotland. These declines have resulted in Curlew being upgraded to the Red List within the recently updated Birds of Conservation Concern 4. Consequently, the species is subject to ongoing studies with the aim of understanding the reasons for the decline. This includes national projects coordinated by the RSPB, an appeal by the BTO, and a local project on the Shropshire / Wales border. This latter project includes the use of camera traps to monitor nests and radio-tracking juveniles to try and determine breeding success – of 13 nests found in 2015 no young successfully fledged. A repeat of this project is planned for the 2016 breeding season, which BiOME intends to voluntarily support.

Photo : Curlew nest within Ffridd

Photo: Curlew nest within Ffridd

Photo : Curlew standing guard near nest location

Photo: Curlew standing guard near nest location