Survival of Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata differs by season but not breeding origin


25 – 30

1 April 20

Robert A. Robinson, John D. Sanders, Eileen C. Rees


Robert A. Robinson
British Trust for Ornithology, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 2PU, UK


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Globally, many shorebird populations face threats, with the curlews and godwits amongst the most threatened. In the UK, the Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata occurs in internationally important numbers and its rapid decline has led to it being proposed as the most urgent priority for bird conservation action. Knowledge of demographic rates is critical in designing effective conservation strategies. We use ten years of re-sightings of individually colour-marked Curlew to assess seasonal differences in survival rates for Curlew wintering in south-west England that breed in different parts of Europe. Apparent survival was lowest during the breeding/migration period and highest during the winter, with an overall annual survival probability of 0.92 ± 0.03. There was limited evidence that survival of Curlew differed between the breeding areas, suggesting survival is unlikely to be a major driver of these recent declines and that improving reproductive success may be most effective in improving the status of this iconic species.