WWT

Curlews in Crisis

The curlew is on the Red List of the UK’s most endangered birds and is now regarded as our most pressing bird conservation priority.

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An urgent call to protect curlew chicks and nests.

Britain holds a quarter of the world’s curlew population. We have a responsibility to keep them safe. But sadly, in our changing landscapes, they are increasingly unable to rear enough chicks to adulthood.

For many of us, the curlew’s call is one of the British countryside’s most evocative sounds. Can you remember the last time you heard the call of the curlew? It would be a tragedy if it fell silent.

" I never heard the solitary whistle of curlew on a summer noon... without feeling an elevation of soul."

Excerpt from a letter by Robert Burns

LISTEN TO CURLEW CALL

1. 30% POPULATION CRASH

The population of 100 curlew pairs is producing few chicks, due to predation and farming operations.

2. NO SURVIVING CHICKS

The population has dwindled to four pairs now and have not produced chicks for over a decade.

3. TOO FEW YOUNG

There are 40 pairs in traditional meadows but they are not producing enough young to continue.

4. ONLY 40 PAIRS LEFT

Numbers are dwindling with only 40 pairs left, from an estimated 100 pairs in the 1990s.

5. NUMBERS HALVED

There are 40 pairs remaining but numbers have halved in the last decade.

6. NEWLY FOUND

This newly found population of 30 pairs are also struggling to raise young successfully.

It is one of the UK’s most rapidly declining breeding bird species

Food scarcity, predation and changes in farming practices are all contributing to the decline in successful fledging of curlew young.

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There is no time to lose

A gift from you today would enable the skilled conservationists at WWT to make an enormous difference. We will…

  • keep eggs safe from harm by using heat-sensitive drones to locate nests, put up temporary electric fencing to keep predators out, and monitor nests with nest-cameras.
  • build supporting partnerships with the community, farmers and environmentalists.
  • monitor young by tagging chicks when they hatch and observe their movements.
  • headstart chicks by incubating eggs and rearing young until they are ready for release.

Please give today to safeguard the curlew’s future.

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