Curlew population in ‘stark decline’

Research carried out by the UK-based charity Curlew Action has shown that the curlew population in Ireland is in “stark decline” and it suggests that it is likely to be extinct here within a decade.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today, Niall Hatch, the Development Officer with Birdwatch Ireland said, based on a National Parks and Wildlife Service report carried out in 2021 that “the estimate has gone as low as just 105 pairs” compared to the 1980s when there were over 5,000 pairs.

He also said the “curlew is very sensitive to change” and that it’s important that findings of the curlew taskforce from 2019 are implemented.

He believes that successive governments have failed to protect the curlew and that habitat loss, afforestation, pollution and climate change are all factors in the decline.

Mr Hatch said the bird is a “very important to part of our culture” but is also a “flagship” and highlights other declines in the environment.

“Humans should pay heed to that too, we rely on that same environment, so the curlew is shouting a warning to us.”