Thank you to everybody who has already donated to our Curlew Appeal. With your help, we have been able to start writing peer-reviewed literature to inform our understanding of the role upland and lowland management for gamebirds plays in curlew survival. If you haven’t yet donated and would like to do so, please visit our Curlew Appeal page.
Our curlew are in trouble
Sadly, the curlew is a species in serious trouble, not just here but worldwide, so we still need your help to raise vital funds.
There are eight curlew species in the world; two are at least critically endangered and probably already extinct. The one most commonly seen in the UK is the largest, the Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata).
The UK holds 25% of the world’s breeding population. But since 1969, 62% of the UK population of breeding curlew has been lost. In 2015, it was added to the Red-List as a Bird of Conservation Concern.
Historically, curlew have bred all over the country - across our marshes, meadows, heathland and in arable fields. However, since the decline in their population, they have largely retreated to the uplands, with grouse moors and adjacent upland farmland providing much of the best breeding range.
What we need to know
Our research projects, such as the GWCT Upland Predation Experiment at Otterburn and studies of the Berwyn Special Protection Area, have shown how important good habitat management and predation control during the breeding season can be for curlew in the uplands.
There have been several first-hand accounts of increased curlew numbers on lowland arable land managed for grey partridge, but the relationship between the use of game management in the lowlands with the success of curlew is poorly understood and needs pulling together. We want to publish literature on how game management across the UK can contribute to curlew recovery.
With your help, we can consolidate existing GWCT research with new emerging studies and get these facts out to policymakers, journalists and land managers. By putting longstanding knowledge alongside emerging studies on both the lowlands and uplands, we can highlight the issues facing this iconic bird.
How you can help
By supporting our Appeal, you will be helping the GWCT to publish essential work on the effect of wildlife management on curlew, providing policymakers with the facts.
Your donation can help us to:
- Brief politicians, ensuring they are aware of the relationship between curlew and game management.
- Raise awareness by writing peer-reviewed literature reviews to inform our understanding of the role upland and lowland management plays in curlew recovery.
- Continue researching the relationship between game management and the survival of our declining curlew population to further our existing knowledge.