Populations of breeding waders, and in particularly curlew are in steep decline. Curlew are considered to be amongst the highest conservation priorities in the UK at the moment. Low chick productivity is leading to the continued loss of this iconic species from many of our upland areas here in Wales.
Over the coming months we will be attempting to get as much information as possible on the location of the remaining breeding curlew throughout Wales.
Curlew return to their upland breeding areas from the beginning of March onwards, with breeding territories established during April before they settle to brood the eggs. From mid-May we are likely to see them chick guarding and alarm calling to protect their young. Birds that are still alarm calling on their breeding grounds towards the end of June or even into July suggest they have young very close to fledging.
How you can help?
We are asking those who have previously recorded curlew in the uplands between March and July to re-visit the same area, or other curlew areas this year and record their activity on Cofnod where there is a dedicated recording page for curlew, or to your Local Record Centre.
A series of visits to the same area recording adult bird behaviour would provide very valuable information on the likely breeding success of this iconic bird.
Negative results are also of great value to our project’s work on curlew. Knowing an area has been visited during the breeding season and no curlew were present is an important record for us.
We would be very grateful if you were to note the presence of rings or tags on any curlew’s legs. This will help inform the many projects in Wales and the remainder of the UK who are working to avoid the possible extinction of curlew in the next few years. ( See the link for recording these on the Gylfinir Cymru/ Curlew Wales Project page on Cofnod.
Any helping hand you can offer would be greatly appreciated as we aim to ensure that the curlew continues to be cherished for generations to come in Wales.
If you would like to know more about how you can help curlew through Wales, please contact Bethan.Beech@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk.