To put the rapid loss of Ireland’s breeding Curlew into context, it’s equivalent to the human population of the Republic dropping from 4.8 million to less than 200,000.
In their paper in Wader Study, the journal of the International Wader Study Group, Barry O’Donoghue and his colleagues reveal the results of the 2015-17 survey of breeding Curlew in the Republic of Ireland. The emerald isle used to be a haven for Curlew but there are now dire warnings that the species could be lost as a breeding species. Various estimates suggest that there were between 3,300 and 12,000 pairs in the 1980s but the current number may be as low as 138 pairs. That’s a fall of 96% in about thirty years.
The latest survey
Surveys in the summers of 2015, 2016 and 2017 focused upon areas that were known to hold breeding Curlew in the previous few years…
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