Important article analysing reasons for Curlew decline

A new paper “Environmental correlates of breeding abundance and population change of Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata in Britain” by Samantha Franks, David Douglas, Simon Gillings & James W. Pearce-Higgins is to be published in the next issue of the BTO journal “Bird Study”. A link to the paper is included in the Literature Library on this website; this link will only be available until it is published, but anyone interested in Curlews really should consult the article.

It provides the very latest views on why Curlews are declining in UK – not an easy read, but full of up-to date insights – and 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 to 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.

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