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Curlew Country gathers momentum

Wednesday November 22nd, 2017 | Stephanie

from left: Philip Dunn MP, Wynfred Jones, farmer, Amanda Perkins, Curlew Country Project Manager, Tony Cross, field ornithologist, Dr Geoff Hilton, chief scientist Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, and Mike Smart, Southern Curlew Forum.

At the recent Curlew Country presentation, 40 people gathered from over the country to hear about the success of the Shropshire and Welsh Marches based project.

Curlew Country is reversing the decline of our local curlew population and helping the national and international race against time to save this iconic bird.

This year, the project enabled curlew chicks to successfully fledge for the first time in the three years of monitoring.
Curlew Country works in partnership with farmers and land managers.

Nests were monitored in 2015 and 2016 using cameras and data loggers to find out why the local curlew population was failing to breed.

From this data, interventions were put in place in 2017. Half of the 22 nests monitored survived to chick stage with some chicks fledging. Following a successful application for an egg incubation licence, additional chicks were reared to fledge.

Because of its exceptional progress in such a short time, this small project has made a big impact locally and nationally and is also collaborating internationally.

Curlew Country has attracted national attention because of its ground breaking work and has emerged as the leading project in England working on low ground curlew.  The project has been asked to contribute to Parliamentary briefing notes and was much mentioned at a recent Curlew debate in Parliament.

At an International level, Project Manager Amanda Perkins and Ornithologist Tony Cross presented at the International Wader Study Group Conference, Curlew Workshop in Prague.  Asked about Curlew Country, Amanda Perkins, project manager said ‘It’s so exciting to know that chicks successfully fledged and to know that we have a chance to save our curlew based on the fencing and fox control trials that we have carried out’.

The first phase of the project which discovered how to reverse breeding curlew decline is at an end. Talks are in progress with a new hosting project and fundraising is in action.

Curlew Country is continuing with the race against time to save local curlew and to discover what breeding curlew and chicks need to thrive sustainably in the longer term.

For more information see www.curlewcountry.org or contact project Manager, Amanda Perkins, 01938 561741 or email Amanda.perkins@shropshire.gov.uk


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