World Curlew Day to inspire pride in Longford's curlew population

Only 135 pairs left in Ireland

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World Curlew Day to inspire pride in Longford's curlew population

World Curlew Day is April 21

World Curlew Day celebrates curlews across the globe. It raises awareness about their perilous state, connects those working for their conservation and informs about the practicalities needed to help them.

The Curlew is the essence of Ireland, a symbol of marsh, bog land, windswept coasts as well as farmland. Not long ago they graced every county – but today they are in crisis.

In the 1980s it is estimated there were over 5,000 breeding pairs in the Republic of Ireland, but today it is very different. Last year the official estimate was just 135 pairs.

This is also a global issue. Out of the eight species of Curlew worldwide, two have already gone extinct and the others are endangered. By setting aside a day dedicated to curlews, together we can make sure that the world doesn’t lose a bird that is treasured by so many people around the world.

Curlews are Ireland’s largest wading bird and they capture the soul of our country with their joyful bubbling, trilling call and long, plaintive cries. In days gone by, anyone who grew up outside a city would have heard them and welcomed them as part of rural life. Let’s work to bring them back.

In areas where curlew are still breeding, World Curlew Day encourages locals to inspire pride in their local, natural heritage. They can still be found in Donegal, Monaghan, Longford, Roscommon, Galway and  Kerry.

The Curlew Conservation Programme was initiated by National Parks and Wildlife Services and is being carried out with research led by UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and BirdWatch Ireland. The aim is to use science and technology to recover the population of curlews across Ireland.

World Curlew day is on April 21st. Please do what you can to help this much-loved Irish bird.