Literature Library


Essential reading


International Single Species Action Plan for the Conservation of the Eurasian Curlew (PDF).
Full text of the International Single Species Action Plan for Eurasian Curlew, developed by a team of international experts under the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), one of the Agreements featuring under UNEP’s Convention on Migratory Species.


The Eurasian Curlew – the most pressing conservation priority in the UK (PDF).

Reproduced with permission from British Birds www.britishbirds.co.uk

Seminal paper by Brown et al. on the plight of the Eurasian Curlew appeared in “British Birds” in November 2015.


“The Curlew” – a booklet about the Curlew by Gerry Cotter. Part of the Shire Natural History series. 24 pages. Available from Amazon and from Abe Books.


http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/eurasian-curlew-numenius-arquata

BirdLife International Species factsheet: Numenius arquata www.birdlife.org

The Eurasian Curlew has been on the IUCN Global Red List, in the Near Threatened category, since 2008.


IUCN Red List. Map showing Curlew species range

(Wait for map and coloured areas to appear.)

Bird Study

Environmental correlates of breeding abundance and population change of Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata in Britain

Samantha E. Franks, David J. T. Douglas, Simon Gillings & James W. Pearce-Higgins. Bird Study, August 2017. (Requires subscription).

The very latest on why Curlews are declining in UK – not an easy read, but full of up-to date insights. The first ever large-scale assessment of changes in British Curlew populations (both upland and lowland). The paper finds greatest support for the detrimental effects of arable farming, afforestation and generalist predation on both Curlew abundance and population change. It calls for rapid establishment of intensive studies of identify the drivers of the patterns observed, such as: monitoring of key land uses such as agriculture, forestry and grouse moor management (e.g. burning, cutting, and predator control); predator abundance; invertebrate resources; and importantly, reproductive success.

Estimating the abundance and hatching success of breeding Curlew Numenius arquata using survey data (PDF).

M.C. Grant , C. Lodge , N. Moore , J. Easton , C. Orsman & M. Smith (2000) Estimating the abundance and hatching success of breeding Curlew Numenius arquata using survey data, Bird Study, 47:1, 41-51, DOI: 10.1080/00063650009461159

Changes in the status of waders breeding on wet lowland grasslands in England and Wales between 1982 and 1989 (PDF).

M. O’Brien & K. W. Smith (1992) Changes in the status of waders breeding on wet lowland grasslands in England and Wales between 1982 and 1989, Bird Study, 39:3, 165-176, DOI: 10.1080/00063659209477115

Classic paper, mainly dealing with Lapwing, Snipe and Redshank in England and Wales (not Scotland) below 600 feet (183 m), but some references to Curlew; survey methodology of three monthly visits in April, May and June has proved to be insufficient for good monitoring of breeding Curlew. Suggests population of 750 pairs, on 15% of sites visited, the majority in northern England and Wales; numbers of Curlews have declined in the south and are very low. Little known about Curlew’s detailed breeding habitat requirements, though appears to be limited to rough grazings and damp pastures in Scotland.

Why do Curlews Numenius have decurved bills? (PDF).

N. C. Davidson , D. J. Townsend , M. W. Pienkowski & J. R. Speakman (1986) Why do Curlews Numenius have decurved bills?, Bird Study, 33:2, 61-69, DOI: 10.1080/00063658609476896

The Migration and Mortality of the Curlew in Britain and Ireland (PDF).

Ian P. Bainbridge & C. D. T. Minton (1978) The Migration and Mortality of the Curlew in Britain and Ireland, Bird Study, 25:1, 39-50, DOI: 10.1080/00063657809476573

The classic review of metal ring recoveries, quite old, but still highly relevant. It would be good to have an update, and more information on recoveries of colour rings.

Bird Conservation International

A global threats overview for Numeniini populations: synthesising expert knowledge for a group of declining migratory birds (PDF).

Bird Conservation International (2017) 27:6–34. © BirdLife International, 2017. doi:10.1017/S0959270916000678

IBIS – International Journal of Avian Science

Variability in the area, energy and time costs of wintering waders responding to disturbance (PDF).

Collop, C., Stillman, R. A., Garbutt, A., Yates, M. G., Rispin, E. and Yates, T. (2016), Variability in the area, energy and time costs of wintering waders responding to disturbance. Ibis, 158: 711–725. doi:10.1111/ibi.12399

The direct and indirect effects of predation by Hen Harriers Circus cyaneus on trends in breeding birds on a Scottish grouse moor. (PDF).

Baines, D., Redpath, S., Richardson, M. and Thirgood, S. (2008), The direct and indirect effects of predation by Hen Harriers Circus cyaneus on trends in breeding birds on a Scottish grouse moor. Ibis, 150: 27–36. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.2008.00848.x

The possible impact of climate change on the future distributions and numbers of waders on Britain’s non-estuarine coast (PDF).

Rehfisch, M. M., Austin, G. E., Freeman, S. N., Armitage, M. J. S. and Burton, N. H. K. (2004), The possible impact of climate change on the future distributions and numbers of waders on Britain’s non-estuarine coast. Ibis, 146: 70–81.

Journal of Applied Ecology

Upland land use predicts population decline in a globally near-threatened wader (PDF).

Douglas, D. J.T., Bellamy, P. E., Stephen, L. S., Pearce–Higgins, J. W., Wilson, J. D. and Grant, M. C. (2014), Upland land use predicts population decline in a globally near-threatened wader. J Appl Ecol, 51: 194–203. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12167

Changes in breeding success and abundance of ground‐nesting moorland birds in relation to the experimental deployment of legal predator control (PDF).

Fletcher, K., Aebischer, N. J., Baines, D., Foster, R. and Hoodless, A. N. (2010), Changes in breeding success and abundance of ground-nesting moorland birds in relation to the experimental deployment of legal predator control. Journal of Applied Ecology, 47: 263–272. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01793.x

The effect of management for red grouse shooting on the population density of breeding birds on heather‐dominated moorland (PDF).

Tharme, A.P., Green, R.E., Baines, D., Bainbridge, I.P. and O’Brien, M. (2001), The effect of management for red grouse shooting on the population density of breeding birds on heather-dominated moorland. Journal of Applied Ecology, 38: 439–457. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2664.2001.00597.x

IWSG – International Wader Study Group

GPS tracking reveals temporal patterns in breeding season habitat use and activity of a globally Near Threatened wader, the Eurasian Curlew (Download PDF).

Ewing, S.R., E.S. Scragg, N. Butcher & D.J.T. Douglas. 2017. GPS tracking reveals temporal patterns in breeding season habitat use and activity of a globally Near Threatened wader, the Eurasian Curlew. Wader Study 124(3): 206–214.

BTO – British Trust for Ornithology

Monitoring Breeding Waders in Wensleydale: trialling surveys carried out by farmers and gamekeepers (Download PDF).

Report No. 703. Authors: David Jarrett, John Calladine, Chris Wernham & Mark Wilson. Published: 2017. ISBN: 978-1-908581-85-3

CMS – Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

CMS COP11 – Conservation Statements for Numeniini Species (PDF). See pages 33-36.

Submitted by BirdLife International and the International Wader Study Group. UNEP/CMS/COP11/Inf.33 28/10/2014 CMS

RSPB Blog

From the field: wader update from the Upper Thames

Blog by Kirsty Brannan, Senior Conservation Officer. December 2017

Testing conservation delivery for curlew

Blog by Dr David Douglas, Principal Conservation Scientist; Dr Irena Tomankova, Conservation Scientist, and Sarah Sanders. September 2017

Wader Tales Blog: Graham Appleton

Curlews can’t wait for a treatment plan

August 2017

Is the Curlew really ‘near-threatened’?

November 2015

Curlews in the News

The Guardian, 14 August 2017: Country Diary
Coast Monkey, 14 August 2017: The Extinction of the Curlew is an Avoidable Irish Tragedy