One of Ireland’s most iconic birds, the curlew has been described as on the edge of extinction by Dr. Anita Donaghy, senior conservation officer with Birdwatch Ireland.
Birdswatch Ireland will host a one day workshop on November 4th to address the plight of this once plentiful bird.
In the 1980s there were around 5,000 breeding pairs in the Republic of Ireland, but today there are fewer than 150, according to a national survey commissioned by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in 2015 and 2016.
Curlew were once well known all through rural Ireland, and are associated with bogs and upland pastures. However with changes in farming practices much of the birds once native home ranges have changed or been destroyed.
Many non native curlews arrive on irish shores every summer to feed on coastal mudflats and inland lakes but they are not to be mistaken with our native birds.
Key areas in the country include the Stacks in north Kerry, Lough Corrib and the bogs of the midlands, with smaller populations in Donegal, Monaghan, parts of south Leitrim and Lough Ree.
The workshop is being supported by the National Parks & Wildlife Service and the Heritage Council.
If you would like more information on the curlew appeal you can visit bird watch ireland here.
[picture via Colum Clarke. Cover John Carey]