Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

New Petition Claims Irish Curlew “Is Headed to Extinction”

17th October 2021
File image of a curlew at Victoria Park in Belfast
File image of a curlew at Victoria Park in Belfast Credit: Albert Bridge/Geograph

Just 34 breeding pairs of curlew were confirmed in the fifth year of the Curlew Conservation Programme, according to figures in its 2021 report.

And of that number — recorded across nine important breeding areas — only nine pairs were confirmed to have produced fledglings, a breeding success rate of just 26%.

While the breeding productivity rate of 0.50 fledglings/breeding pair is above the threshold of 0.43 required for a stable population, it continues a significant trend of decline since 2019 when the rate was 0.81.

The figures have prompted an online petition to Minister of State Malcolm Noonan amid fears that the Irish breeding curlew “is headed to extinction” due to human activity.

It calls on the minister and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to take action on a number of points, including an immediate increase in funding for curlew conservation, and establishing an integrated stakeholder emergency taskforce” led by the current conservation programme.

It also appeals for allocating former Bord na Mona peatlands as priority habitats for curlews, and initiating a review of commercial forestry licensing “where the habitat is favourable to ground-nesting birds”.

“If these actions are not taken, the Irish curlew will be lost within the next decade,” the petition organisers say. “This will be a preventable tragedy we can not stand idly by and let happen.”

The wading birds are winter visitors to Ireland’s inland and coastal wetlands, but also breed in inland floodplains and bogland, in rough pastures, meadows and heather.

However, according to Birdwatch Ireland their numbers and range “have declined substantially in recent decades. It is likely that increased afforestation and agricultural improvement are responsible for these declines.”

Curlew in Ireland are red-listed as a threatened species.

Published in Marine Wildlife
MacDara Conroy

About The Author

MacDara Conroy

Email The Author

MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating