24 April 2021

Your donation doubled – if we hit our funding target

GMF - Twitter Post

We are embarking on our most ambitious tracking project yet and your donation will be doubled if we hit our £10,000 target next week.

The GWCT is raising funds to tag three red-listed birds this spring – woodcock, curlew and lapwing. The tags will provide hourly locations for three to four years, enabling scientists to determine adult feeding areas, movements outside the breeding season and links between breeding and wintering sites. Using GSM technology, they can download their locations without the need to relocate each bird.

To boost this vital research, the Dulverton Trust has very kindly offered to match donations, provided the GWCT hits its £10,000 target by Thursday 29th April.

You can support the campaign here >

The organisation has been monitoring curlews in the New Forest since 2018, using GPS tags to provide data on habitat use and movements. Curlew breeding and wintering numbers are declining in Hampshire and periodic surveys of breeding waders in the New Forest suggest that the curlew population probably peaked in the 1980s at about 120 pairs, but has since declined to about 45 pairs.

Elli Rivers, a PhD student with Bournemouth University has now joined the team and along with tracking more curlews this year, will be monitoring breeding success. As well as providing necessary information on curlew requirements at a local level, the data will complement work at sites elsewhere in the country to help us devise effective strategies for curlew conservation.

James Swyer, Press & Publications Manager at the GWCT, is keen to get this work underway: “With your donation, you can help us to answer the difficult questions about where our curlew, lapwing and woodcock go, and why”, he notes. “Building on our popular Woodcock Watch campaign, this new tagging project is our most ambitious yet and can answer important questions about these declining and much-loved species. We are in a unique position, using our research to directly inform what’s happening across the farms and fields of Britain. The fate of these red-listed species cannot change without a better understanding of their declines”.

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