Project to save curlews in Wales from extinction secures £1 million in funding
A project which is working to save curlews in Wales from extinction has received £1 million from a new fund which was launched last month.
Gylfinir Cymru (Curlew Wales) has received the support for its Curlew Connections Wales Project from the Nature Networks Fund which is a Welsh Government grant programme delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural Resources Wales.
The three-year scheme involves four key members of Gylfinir Cymru, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Cymru, the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB, Curlew Country and Bannau Brycheiniog National Park.
Curlew is one of 60 species of birds on the Red List in Wales, meaning they are declining and need conservation help to survive.
The new funding will enable the organisations involved to implement the Wales Action Plan for the Recovery of Curlew, working alongside farmers, land managers and local communities to raise awareness of the plight of birds and start to put measures in place to address the causes of their decline.
Curlews breed on farmland and moorlands across Wales during the spring and early summer months and their distinctive call is considered by many to be the herald of spring.
Their numbers have been declining in Wales over the last 30 years – from an estimated 5,700 pairs in 1993, to as few as 400 breeding pairs across the whole of Wales today.
Very few eggs and chicks make it through to adulthood every year, meaning the birds are in long-term population decline and now regarded as the bird of highest conservation concern in Wales.
Curlews need a range of habitats and favourable conditions on a landscape scale to breed successfully. Working in partnership with farmers and land managers, the new programme will support actions for curlew recovery whilst working toward building a sustainable population.
Herald of spring
Nicola Davies, Ecologist at Bannau Brycheiniog National Park said, “We are delighted to be part of this Wales-wide partnership led project focussing on curlews. With so few remaining in the landscape, it is our responsibility to ensure that we are doing our utmost to reverse the decline (and ultimately extinction) of curlews.
“This funding for the Curlew Connections project will help us to celebrate the haunting and ethereal call of the curlew across the landscape once again here in the Bannau.”
Amanda Perkins, Curlew Country Lead added: “This herald of Spring and symbol of wilder places and traditional farmland is disappearing fast from our landscapes.
“We look forward to working with new farming and land managing partners and their communities and welcoming all who wish to be involved.”
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