Posted: Sat 6th May 2023

Clwydian Range: Partnership project aims to reverse curlew decline in Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, May 6th, 2023

The Curlew Connections Wales Project has secured crucial funding from the Welsh Government’s Nature Networks Fund, bolstering efforts to combat the dwindling curlew population.

This partnership project brings together The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park, Curlew Country, and Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust Cymru, with the aim of preventing the extinction of curlews in Wales.

Delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural Resources Wales, the grant programme will support curlew recovery efforts in four ‘Important Curlew Areas’ identified in the Wales Action Plan for the Recovery of Curlew, developed by Gylfinir Cymru (Curlew Wales).

Over the past 30 years, the curlew population in Wales has experienced a significant decline, with numbers falling from an estimated 5,700 pairs in 1993 to as few as 400 breeding pairs today.

Due to these dwindling numbers, the curlew is now considered the bird of highest conservation concern in Wales.

The three-year project, led by key members of Gylfinir Cymru (Curlew Wales), will work across the nation, from Denbighshire in the north to Bannau Brycheiniog in the south.

They will collaborate with farmers, land managers, and local communities to raise awareness about the plight of curlews and begin implementing measures to address the causes of their decline, while working towards sustainability.

Nicola Davies, Ecologist at Bannau Brycheiniog National Park, expressed delight at being part of the project, emphasizing the need to reverse the decline and ultimately prevent the extinction of curlews in the Welsh landscape.

Amanda Perkins, Curlew Country Lead, highlighted the project’s role in expanding curlew recovery efforts across Montgomeryshire, connecting fragmented populations.

Rhun Jones, Senior Countryside Ranger at Clwydian Range & Dee Valley AONB, said: “We are so fortunate that curlews continue to return to traditional breeding grounds here in NE Wales.

This key funding will allow us to work closely with farmers, landowners, and the wider community to raise awareness of the plight of curlews and put measures in place to address the causes behind their decline.

By implementing targeted conservation efforts and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, we hope that curlews remain an integral feature of the stunning Clwydian Range & Dee Valley landscape for now and for the future.”

Lee Oliver, GWCT Cymru Head of Projects in Wales, also welcomed the partnership, pledging their commitment to saving curlews in Wales.

As curlews rely on a range of habitats and favourable conditions for successful breeding, the project will support actions for curlew recovery while working towards sustainability.

Failure to take conservation actions could lead to the extinction of curlews in Wales within the next decade. With this funding, the project offers hope for reversing the curlew’s declining trajectory and ensuring their continued presence in the nation’s landscape.

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