Taskforce to be formed to stop the extinction of the curlew in Ireland

Published by Aoife Rose O'Reilly on

[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]November 11th 2016[/cs_text][cs_text]A taskforce is to established with immediate effect in response to the plight of one of Irelands iconic bird species, the curlew. This decision arose as a direct result of the recent Curlew in Crisis workshop in Westmeath on the 4th of November.

The wading bird, a common cultural motif in poetry and songs, has declined drastically in numbers in recent years. Just 130 breeding pairs remain in the Republic of Ireland. Mostly nesting on bogland, farmland has is also an important nesting site for them. Their decline is mostly driven by loss of bogs, agricultural intensification and predation.

Dr Anita Donaghy of Birdwatch Ireland commented: “We hope that this voluntary initiative will encourage Minister Humphreys [the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs] to find much needed funds to prevent the imminent extinction of Curlew in Ireland. We would also reiterate our call for the Minister and her department to produce a dedicated action plan aimed at halting Curlew declines as a matter of extreme urgency.”

UK based research shows curlews tend to remain at the same nesting site year after year, and thus measures to protect Irelands remaining breeding pairs must be put in place as soon as possible.

The workshop was initiated by UK-based radio producer and presenter Mary Colwell, who earlier this year walked for 500 miles across Ireland and England to raise awareness of the plight of the Curlew.

She said: “The many people I met on my walk showed me how deep the concern is that breeding Curlew are fast disappearing from the Irish landscape. We will shortly be holding a similar workshop in England; the lesson from Ireland is that if we ignore the declines that are also happening in the UK, the situation could become critical, as it unfortunately has in Ireland.”

The workshop was assisted by University College Dublin and Birdwatch Ireland. Funding was provided by the Heritage Council and the National Parks and Wildlife Services. The workshop heard talks from almost 100 scientists and conservationists from across Ireland and the UK. The results of these discussions and problem solving sessions will form a basis for action over the coming years.[/cs_text][x_author title=”About the Author” author_id=””][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]

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Aoife Rose O'Reilly

Aoife is a contributor to Green News. She has a degree in Natural Sciences from Trinity College Dublin and an MSC in Evolutionary Biology from UCD. She also volunteers with Dublin Zoo.