Once a common sight and sound on farms across the country, the curlew is now Ireland’s only bird on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The drastic decline in numbers has seen the population drop by 96% from 5,000 to just 140 breeding pairs over the past 30 years. The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Department of Agriculture are calling on farmers to help halt the decline of one of Ireland’s most iconic birds.


Although many farmers are already involved in GLAS measures to support birds, a relatively small number are involved in the Curlew Conservation Programme (CCP) run by the NPWS and the Curlew EIP funded by the Department.

Farmers are key to both schemes, which are voluntary, and offer to pay farmers for undertaking measures on their farms to support breeding pairs of curlews.

The CCP wishes to reach out to the public who can help save curlews by reporting sightings to nationalcurlewsurvey@gmail.com or by calling 083-830 1843.

“The success of the curlew is dependent on the co-operation of landowners and local communities so that the curlew’s call may once again be a common sound across our countryside,” a spokesperson for the NPWS said.