The curlews , genus Numenius, are a group of nine species of birds, characterised by long, slender, downcurved bills and mottled brown plumage. Prior to this work, the curlew population was monitored as part of the general reserve monitoring. The Curlew in Crisis workshop took place in Co Westmeath earlier this month and brought together almost 100 scientists and conservationists to examine the crisis facing breeding curlews in Ireland. With 71% of Irish Curlew breeding on peatlands, IPCC believe that both peatland habitat restoration and awareness raising activities are essential to ensure a future for these iconic birds in Ireland. First up is some good-quality feeding habitat… to replenish after migration and fatten up for energy-sapping exploits that lie ahead - advertising a territory, attracting a mate, laying eggs, fending off predators… Five curlew fledglings, the young of one of Northern Ireland's most iconic birds, were successfully released around the shores of South Lough Neagh. As a ground-nesting bird the nests and eggs of curlew are especially vulnerable to predators such as foxes and crows. Dr Neil McCulloch, Ornithologist at NIEA, said the decline of the species in Northern Ireland has been particularly severe. The dramatic decrease in breeding pairs is due to habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and predation. (2019) National survey of breeding Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata in the Republic of Ireland… Funding was made available for landowners and communities to engage in efforts on the programme, including habitat improvement works. The chicks hatch after about 28 days and rapidly become mobile, fledging in about 36 days. Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland, the chair of the Irish Curlew Task Force, Alan Lauder, cited disruption to the large open natural spaces across Ireland as a chief cause behind the reduction. Curlew are still a regular sight along our coasts in winter, when migratory birds from northern Europe come to take advantage of our mild winters, feeding in our estuaries and wetlands in large numbers. Eurasian curlews used to be eaten, and appeared in several recipe books. The English name is imitative of the Eurasian curlew's call, but may have been influenced by the Old French corliu, "messenger", from courir , "to run". Why is this species a priority in Northern Ireland? Priority species in the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy. Dr Neil McCulloch, Ornithologist at NIEA, said the decline of the species in Northern Ireland has been particularly severe. In the long-billed curlew (N. americanus), a western North American counterpart of the Eurasian curlew, the bill alone is about 20 cm (8 inches) long.. The poor survival rate of young birds is known to be a key factor in the decline of curlew at Northern Ireland sites, and a detailed research programme is being undertaken to establish the exact extent of the problem and provide solutions to it. Brown et al. The most important wintering sites in Northern Ireland are Lough Foyle and Strangford Lough. A pioneering conservation project has provided Curlew chicks with a new lease of life after their eggs were rescued from the threat of wildfire. In winter, curlews can be found in a variety of habitats, both coastal and inland, including mudflats, rocky shores, lake shores, and agricultural fields. Newton, S., Donaghy, A., Allen, D. and Gibbons, D. (2000). In winter, curlews can be found in a variety of habitats, both coastal and inland, including mudflats, rocky shores, lake shores, and agricultural fields. Everywhere the story was the same; curlews were disappearing, especially on their breeding grounds. The possibility of the Curlew becoming extinct as a breeding species in the coming years is one of the greatest conservation concerns in Ireland. 660–668. It was readily apparent, as evidenced by the Bird Atlas of 2007-2011 and from observations in key areas, that Species diversity in Ireland is maintained because of the variety of habitats and environmental conditions available for plants and animals to live and reproduce. Detailed habitat use of Curlew wintering on the UK’s estuaries using GPS tags. Similar speciesThe whimbrel is the only similar wading bird found in Northern Ireland. Curlew Habitat. DAERA hosted a Northern Ireland Curlew workshop at CAFRE’S Greenmount Campus on 12th September 2018. RSPB, Sandy, Bedfordshire. The programme is led by Dr. Barry O’Donoghue of the Agri-Ecology Unit in NPWS. This study was completed in 2017 and found an (1997). O’Donoghue et al. http://www.birdguides.com/html/vidlib/species/Numenius_arquata.htm. British Birds 108: pp. BirdWatch Ireland is working with partners to protect one of Europe's rarest birds. Cambridge, UK: Birdlife International Conservation Series No.12. how wintering Curlew use estuarine and farmland habitats, both inside and outside protected areas, in different areas of the UK and how Curlew might be affected by coastal development, disturbance, and habitat creation, all of which might impact their survival. The curlew is a very large, tall wader, about the same size as a female pheasant. Whilde, A. •A significant proportion are nesting on Bord na Móna lands; possibly the single most important landholder for breeding Curlew. Population Estimates and Habitat Associations of Breeding Waders in Northern Ireland 1999: The Results of an Extensive Survey. Curlew lose out as peat bog habitat in Ireland disappears. Some of their preferred nesting habitats are grasslands, prairies, pastures, and even cultivated farmland. Threats/Causes of declineThe decline of curlew is linked to the loss of their wetland habitat mainly through agricultural intensification, including drainage of wetland areas and overgrazing by livestock. At closer quarters the whimbrel has a distinctive darker cap with central cream stripe giving the effect of a hair parting! The genus name Numenius refers to the curlew's bill, meaning 'new moon' in reference to the sickle-shaped bill. In April 2016 broadcaster and natural historian Mary Colwell walked from the West of Ireland to the coast of Lincolnshire in East England on the trail of the Curlew, one of the most charismatic yet threatened birds in Britain and Ireland.. In Northern Ireland in the last four decades we have decreased from more than 5,000 pairs to an estimated 200. In each year eight samples The BTO Ringing Office also reports that up to the present, a total of 732 Curlews have been ringed in Ireland and Northern Ireland, with in 2017 just two in Northern Ireland and two in the Republic. 234. In each of these areas, local teams surveyed for Curlew, engaged in nest protection efforts and liaised with landowners. It is predominantly a brown, streaked bird with no outstanding plumage features. It is a penetrating, strident, wail, rising with a slight waver, and dropping at the end and often repeated a number of times in quick succession. During the winter these birds inhabit beaches, mudflats, estuaries, and other shallow-water ecosystems. There are between 200 and 500 curlew pairs left in Northern Ireland The curlew was once common here and, in the 1980s, there were up to 5,000 breeding pairs. T he curlew should be ... has almost halved since the mid-90s due to predators eating their young and a reduction in good-quality breeding habitat. •Almost one third of known pairs nest on bogs. •Breeding Curlew are one of the highest conservation priorities in Ireland. The Bush Stone-curlew call is an evocative and unforgettable sound. The curlew conceals its nest on the ground amongst long grassy vegetation and four eggs are laid. British Birds 108: pp. In Ireland, breeding Curlew have experienced an estimated 86% decline in population size (Colhoun and Cummins, 2013) and a range Text written by: Allen & Mellon Environmental Ltd. Can be found in mainly coastal areas in winter and commonest in upland areas in the summer, In summer, found in a variety of wetland habitats such as blanket bog and damp meadows. A group of curlews is called a curfew, a salon, or skein of curlews. In each of these areas, local teams surveyed for Curlew, engaged in nest protection efforts and liaised with landowners. Outside the breeding season, numbers of curlew in Ireland are swollen by immigration of birds from Britain and Northern Europe. T he curlew should be ... has almost halved since the mid-90s due to predators eating their young and a reduction in good-quality breeding habitat. The possibility of the Curlew becoming extinct as a breeding species in the coming years is one of the greatest conservation concerns in Ireland. Agricultural change, including wide scale drainage and heavy grazing has had a negative impact on the curlew’s breeding habitat. In 2020, the Curlew Conservation Programme focussed on nine of the most important areas in Ireland for breeding Curlew, including the Stack’s Mountains in Kerry, Lough Ree, Roscommon/Mayo, Leitrim, North Monaghan, Donegal, Lough Corrib, Slieve Aughties and Laois/Kildare. • Monitor the extent to which peat extracion is causing disturbance to nesing habitat by mapping the ex-tent and iming of acive turf cuing. (2015) National survey of breeding Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata in the Republic of Ireland, 2015–2017. The other similar-sized wading birds are the two godwits which both have straight or slightly upturned bills. In flight, it shows a triangular white patch above the brown barred tail. HMSO Belfast. Current statusThe total UK breeding population is estimated to be at least 99,500 breeding pairs, around 40 per cent of the European population. Of these, some 20 per cent face the threat of extinction - with the curlew is at the greatest risk of all. In Ireland, the Curlew has been identified as a conservation priority in the Government’s Prioritised Action Framework (PAF) and is Red Listed in the Birds of Conservation Concern. In Ireland, Mary meets local people saddened by the loss of the curlew. Major decline in the breeding population especially in the lowlands. The main problem is that too few curlew pairs are producing young to maintain numbers. The most important wintering sites in Northern Ireland are Lough Foyle and Strangford Lough. In Ireland, the Curlew is also protected under the Wildlife Acts and the Birds and Natural Habitats Regulations, 2011 and is on the Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland (BoCCI 2 ). The curlew is a large wading bird, well known for its very long, decurved bill. With 71% of Irish Curlew breeding on peatlands, IPCC believe that both peatland habitat restoration and awareness raising activities are essential to ensure a future for these iconic birds in Ireland. Habitat of the Curlew. A pioneering conservation project has provided Curlew chicks with a new lease of life after their eggs were rescued from the threat of wildfire. There are only 136 Eurasian Curlews in Ireland and they are now on the verge of extinction as their habitat is being destroyed. O’Donoghue et al. Habitat management for curlew - cutting, carbon and coos Curlews have various requirements in terms of the ‘patchwork’ of habitats they choose to call home. The least curlew (N. minimus), of eastern Asia, is only 30 cm (12 inches) long.. These spaces represent the natural habitat of Irish curlews with the fragmentation leaving the species in serious danger of extinction. They live in different habitats during the breeding season than they do during the winter. In 2020, the Curlew Conservation Programme focussed on nine of the most important areas in Ireland for breeding Curlew, including the Stack’s Mountains in Kerry, Lough Ree, Roscommon/Mayo, Leitrim, North Monaghan, Donegal, Lough Corrib, Slieve Aughties and Laois/Kildare. Monitoring has shown that the Curlew breeding population in Northern Ireland, all-Ireland and UK is declining at an alarming rate. Brown et al. •Breeding success is slightly higher on bogs than on farmland. A Mute Swan in Derry was also amongst five confirmed cases in Northern Ireland last month. The native Irish curlew is facing a threat to its existence so significant it may soon die out in Ireland. In Northern Ireland, most now breed around Lough Erne, County Fermanagh, with smaller populations in the Antrim hills and southern Sperrins. Curlews are one of Northern Ireland’s most endangered species, having declined by 85% since 1985. Curlew is now Red-listed as Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland, and represents one of the highest conservation priorities in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (Colhoun and Cummins, 2013). Landowners and members of the public are asked to get in touch with the Agri-Ecology Unit of NPWS, by emailing Agri.Ecology@chg.gov.ie, if they would like to let the project know of any Curlew sightings during the summer or if they would like to get involved with the project or engage in habitat improvement works. We have only two real hotspots left: Fermanagh and the Antrim Hills - two places in which RSPB NI and landowners are desperately working to keep and increase their curlew numbers. Not long after fledging, adults and young birds form flocks and move to coastal localities. Greatest breeding numbers are found in N Wales, the Pennines, the southern uplands and E Highlands of Scotland and the Northern Isles. This diversity of species is threatened because of persistent management and other human induced changes leading to the reduction of habitat quality and general environmental degradation. Henderson, I., Wilson, A. and Steele, D. (1999). To maintain the range and numbers wintering in coastal habitats at 1993/4 - 1997/98 WeBS count levels. Some species live in many different habitat types, others inhabit just a few different ecosystems. Distribution of … The confirmed cases of avian flu in the Republic of Ireland so far this winter were in a Curlew (Mayo), two Peregrine Falcons (Limerick, Cork) and two Mute Swans (Monaghan). Numenius arquata (L.) Family: Scolopacidae. In Northern Ireland, the curlew is a legitimate quarry species during the open season, although it is thought that the numbers shot are very small. In Wales and Northern Ireland, where there are only a few hundred breeding pairs remaining, we could lose curlew in the next 10 years unless action is taken now. One conclusion might be that it would be good to mark more Curlews in Ireland and Northern Ireland with rings or satellite tags: though with declining numbers there may be few left to ring! Due to changes in farming practices, peat bogs originally cut by hand are now being sliced up by huge machines at an alarming rate. Literature available from DARD on farming practices, agri-environment schemes etc. image caption There are between 200 and 500 curlew pairs left in Northern Ireland The curlew was once common here and, in the 1980s, there were up to 5,000 breeding pairs. In Ireland it breeds in most counties, although it is scarcer in the south and east. information on habitat use and brood movements. NPWS Conservation Rangers and management are also centrally involved in a number of areas. The result was her book Curlew Moon, and four Curlew workshops in Ireland, S England, Wales and Scotland. How does the curlew use its bill to find food? In recognition of the dramatic decrease in breeding Curlew in Ireland, formerly a stronghold of the breeding population of northwestern Europe, a first-ever one-day all-Ireland Conference on Curlews was held at Higginstown on 4 November 2016, entitled “Curlews in Crisis”. Curlew Conservation and Education Programme 2017. A young Curlew (numenius arquata) in a pen close to Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland, before being released into the wild after being rescued from a peatland fire. It is mainly a spring and autumn migrant: it is significantly smaller than curlew with a shorter, kinked, rather than gently curving bill. Curlew breeding hot spots include The Stacks Mountains, Lough Corrib and Midland Raised Bog sites. Grant, M.C. In Ireland, the Curlew has been ideniied as a conservaion priority in the Government’s Prioriised Acion Framework (PAF) and … The curlew can be seen around the whole UK coastline with the largest concentrations of found at Morecambe Bay, the Solway Firth, the Wash, and the Dee, Severn, Humber and Thames estuaries. A current research project is examining the impact of predation on curlew productivity and this may have implications for land management when completed. Assist with any national surveys including winter counts. This project aims to prevent further losses to the Irish Curlew population through the protection and enhancement of known Curlew breeding sites in Ireland, and also to educate and compensate farmers and rural dwellers for creating and managing Curlew habitats in two focus areas, Lough Corrib in County Galway and the south Leitrim bogs. British Trust for Ornithology. The end of a curlew’s bill is sensitive and acts … This workshop was held to review the situation in Northern Ireland and to examine the options going forward. Outside the breeding season, birds arrive from the north and east to winter mainly around the coast. In Europe "curlew" usually refers to one species, the Eurasian curlew Numenius arquata. Donaghy, A. and Mellon, C. (1998). In Ireland, the Curlew is also protected under the Wildlife Acts and the Birds and Natural Habitats Regulations, 2011 and is on the Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland (BoCCI 2 ). Life cycleThe curlew returns to its breeding haunts in the early spring when its bubbling display song can be heard during aerial display flights. Monitoring has shown that the Curlew breeding population in Northern Ireland, all-Ireland and UK is declining at an alarming rate. Breeding Curlew in Counties Galway and Leitrim will be protected as a part of a European Innovation Partnership (EIP). (2019) National survey of breeding Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata in the Republic of Ireland, 2015–2017. Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland. Prior to this work, the curlew population was monitored as part of the general reserve monitoring. DAERA hosted a Northern Ireland Curlew workshop at CAFRE’S Greenmount Campus on 12th September 2018. Five curlew fledglings, the young of one of Northern Ireland's most iconic birds, were successfully released around the shores of South Lough Neagh. In Ireland, the Curlew has been identified as a conservation priority in the Government’s Prioritised Action Framework (PAF) and is Red Listed in the Birds of Conservation Concern. Conservation of this speciesCurrent action, Proposed objectives/actionsThe following targets are taken from the Northern Ireland Action Plan (see links below). Species descriptionThe curlew is one of Europe’s largest wading birds (48-57cm). (2015) National survey of breeding Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata in the Republic of Ireland, 2015–2017. Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht. How to see this speciesIn Britain the curlew is well distributed in Scotland, northern England and Wales, particularly in upland areas. information on habitat use and brood movements. RSPB Conservation Review 1997. Irish Red Data Book 2: Vertebrates. RSPB, Belfast. The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) commissioned a National Breeding Curlew survey in 2015. A total of six sites have been identified across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland where we will test the habitat management and predator control interventions required to inform the development of 'curlew-friendly' land management options. The annual report for 2020 of the Curlew Conservation Programme is now available. Its haunting two-note call and bubbling song was once a familiar sound of the open countryside. The Curlew EIP. Curlew. From July onwards, coastal numbers start to build up, peaking in January. In each year eight samples Conserving the curlew - get your free 8-page guide In autumn, many curlew move across to Ireland from northern Britain, and these are joined by additional birds from further afield. … … The programme places the landowner and the birds at the centre of all considerations, with key goals of giving the Curlews a better chance of rearing chicks and stopping the population sliding further towards extinction. According to Biodiversity Ireland, there over 31,000 species documented in Ireland. Within diminishing areas of suitable habitat, it is thought that curlews are now more vulnerable to predation and this is having a further impact on their population. Noted for its distinctive long legs, long neck and down-curved bill, the curlew is a winter visitor to wetlands across Ireland, according to Birdwatch Ireland. •Bogs are a crucially important habitat for the remaining Curlew population. •The BnM commitment to a Conservation Programme for Curlew with BWI is a significant step forward in saving the species from extinction. Fields for the Future. The famously evocative and previously familiar call of the curlew is becoming increasingly rare, and may very soon be lost in southern England and Wales. However, our resident breeding population is currently in danger of … The project aims to prevent further losses to the Irish Curlew population through the protection and enhancement of known Curlew breeding sites in Ireland, and also to educate and compensate farmers and rural dwellers for creating and managing Curlew habitats. The Trial Management Project is a key part of the Curlew Recovery Programme. Drainage of wetlands and predation are its main threats. This figure represents a decline of around 60 per cent from the previous estimate in 1987. They live in different habitats during the breeding season than they do during the winter. Curlew facts. To assess the soil invertebrate food resources available to curlew, in 2009 and 2010 soil cores were taken using a soil corer 10.5 cm in diameter by 10 cm in depth. It is fully protected elsewhere in the UK. Different species of these birds prefer different types of habitats. The Irish population has been estimated at 2,500 to 10,000 pairs with 1,750 pairs in Northern Ireland in 2000. Avian flu, in particular HPAI H5N8, is highly contagious for birds and migratory waterbirds are the species most likely to become infected – often … Birds in Europe: population trends and conservation status. how wintering Curlew use estuarine and farmland habitats, both inside and outside protected areas, in different areas of the UK and how Curlew might be affected by coastal development, disturbance, and habitat creation, all of which might impact their survival. The Curlew is one of our most vulnerable species with a 97% decline in population since the 1980s, according to a recent national study into our native species. The most recent survey of breeding Curlew in Ireland undertaken by the National Parks and Wildlife Service found only 123 pairs of birds breeding. Irish Birds 6:3 333-344. Ireland should restrict afforestation, recreate peatlands and wetlands and safeguard bogs to protect the endangered curlew bird, a report has recommended. 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