Curlews in the Strettons 2021, plans for 2022, and the “Save our Curlews” appeal

The Strettons area Lapwing and Curlew survey is jointly organised by the Strettons area Community Wildlife Group and SOS Church Stretton branch. The Curlew results from the 2021 survey have just been published, together with the results of the SOS Save our Curlews campaign work to find and protect nests in the Strettons area, and track the chicks using radio tags.

A summary of the work, based on an article in the November issue of Stretton Focus, is here (PDF).  The Groups’ survey found 7-8 pairs, and their approximate location is shown on the map of Curlew territories 2021 here (PDF).  A map of the changes we have found since 2017 is here (PDF).

Locally, five nests were found and fenced, 12 chicks hatched from four of them, and were radio-tagged, but none survived.

 A summary of the SOS Save our Curlews Nest Finding and Protection Project 2021, which operated in the Upper Clun, Clee Hill and Strettons CWG areas, and summaries of the results of the Curlew monitoring 2019-21 by the other nine Community Wildlife Groups, can be found on the main SOS website.

Across the County, around 100 pairs were monitored, and only one pair produced any fledged young. Only one of the 21 radio-tagged chicks fledged, and the other 20 only lived for an average of 5.65 days. They were all predated, mainly by foxes. You can read more about what has been done since 2018 on the main SOS website. This describes the detailed results and future plans, along with the overwhelming evidence that predation by foxes and other predators is the main cause of Curlew’s continuing decline. It is clear that the annual release of millions of pheasants for shooting, only a third of which are actually shot, results in an over-abundant food supply which maintains the numbers of the Curlew’s main predators well above naturally sustainable levels.

A full report of the results of the 2021 survey will be posted on the website in due course.

The Save our Curlews project work in the Strettons area will be carried out again in 2022. It is expensive, and is part-funded by an appeal.

We hope you will want to help protect and conserve the birds you help monitor in our local area.  Please download the attached appeal leaflet (PDF) and donation form (DOCX) and help us to protect these iconic birds for future generations.