Known locally as a whaup, the bird with a distinctive call is under threat and experts say concerted effort is needed to save it. There are eight species of curlew worldwide, two of which are assumed to be extinct. Of the six remaining, three are at risk of extinction, including the Eurasian curlew, which inhabits Britain.
The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is actively involved in curlew conservation across the UK and Dr Dave Parish, their head of lowland research in Scotland, said: “To achieve a significant recovery of curlews across Scotland, predator management can often provide the most immediate response. Habitat management can take much longer to yield results and be particularly challenging if not deployed in conjunction with predator control. We must also recognise that simply relying on the status quo for legally protected species, which may otherwise be seriously predating endangered species such as curlew, needs to be challenged.
“April 21 is designated World Curlew day – a grassroots initiative, supported by major environmental organisations, to raise awareness of the plight of curlews and to encourage activities to help them. We cannot simply preside over extinction and we must take the opportunity to assess all practical options at our disposal to safeguard the future of this wonderful species.”
- Photo by GWCT