The Curlew Conservation Programme involves locally based teams of advisors, community engagement and nest protection officers, working closely with landowners and other local interests, to protect Curlew nesting attempts and to improve habitat quality. NPWS Conservation Rangers and management are also centrally involved in a number of areas. The programme is led by Dr. Barry O’Donoghue of the Agri-Ecology Unit in NPWS. The programme places the landowner and the birds at the centre of all considerations, with key goals of giving the Curlews a better chance of rearing chicks and stopping the population sliding further towards extinction.
The programme is funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine.
In 2020, the Curlew Conservation Programme focussed on nine of the most important areas in Ireland for breeding Curlew, including the Stack’s Mountains in Kerry, Lough Ree, Roscommon/Mayo, Leitrim, North Monaghan, Donegal, Lough Corrib, Slieve Aughties and Laois/Kildare. In each of these areas, local teams surveyed for Curlew, engaged in nest protection efforts and liaised with landowners. Funding was made available for landowners and communities to engage in efforts on the programme, including habitat improvement works.
Landowners and members of the public are asked to get in touch with the Agri-Ecology Unit of NPWS, by emailing Agri.Ecology@housing.gov.ie, if they would like to let the project know of any Curlew sightings during the summer or if they would like to get involved with the project or engage in habitat improvement works.