Call for action ahead of World Curlew Day


The Welsh Ornithological Society (WOS) has called for people to observe World Curlew Day on 21 April.

Eurasian Curlew has undergone a worrying decline as a breeding bird in Britain and Ireland during recent years, and is currently classed as Critically Endangered in Wales. Mick Green, Chair of WOS, said: "I am lucky enough to have seen some of the last-known Slender-billed Curlew, yet I no longer hear our own curlew from my house. This is a shocking state of affairs which we should be ashamed of as a nation – we need to ensure we must save this species in Wales despite the current difficult times."

Eurasian Curlew is listed as Critically Endangered in Wales (Malcolm Jones).

Mark Isherwood AM, Curlew Species Champion in the Welsh Parliament, added: "World Curlew Day on 21 April should act as a timely reminder that more than three-quarters of the Welsh Eurasian Curlew population has disappeared over the last 25 years. If this trend continues, country-level extinction of this iconic and magical bird is expected by 2030.

"Curlew is both an ecological umbrella species and of cultural importance to people. As Wales Species Champion for the Curlew, I therefore recognise the urgent need to work with farmers and land managers to reverse the current decline, and to continue monitoring the status of breeding curlew."

Current COVID-19 restrictions on non-essential movement mean that many fieldwork studies of breeding curlews planned for this year have had to be cancelled. Therefore, WOS encourages birders to keep their eyes peeled in their local areas and to enter all records to BirdTrack.

Iolo Williams, President of WOS, commented: "I grew up hearing these birds each spring around my home. I am appalled that we have allowed them to become so threatened. Please celebrate them on 21 April, but also ensure you write urgently to your politicians to ensure we are all leading on action to save this iconic species as a matter of urgency."

Find out more about the Welsh Ornithological Society and its work at the WOS website.