World Curlew Day – 21st April

The Wader Study Group joined BirdLife International to support the celebration of the World Curlew Day the 21st April!

By Mary Colwell.

“This time last year a ground-breaking assessment of the threats facing the Numeniini group was published that collated the views of over 100 wader experts from around the world made shocking reading. .

It concluded that the main threat internationally is the loss and destruction of coastal estuaries and wetlands, which are under increasing pressure from development and disturbance, particularly in Asia.

The Numeniini group are 13 wader species including upland sandpiper, four godwit and eight curlew species. It is shocking that over half of these species are of global conservation concern which makes this family one of the most threatened in the world.

April 21 was chosen to be World Curlew Day because of a delightful, traditional Welsh tale that identifies the first curlew conservationist. St Beuno, was a 6th century abbot from Wales. Legend has it he was sailing off the coast when he dropped his prayer book in the sea. A curlew flew over and rescued it and took it to the shore to dry. The grateful St Beuno decreed that from then on, the bird be given special protection and that its nest must be difficult to find; which is indeed the case.

We hope that conservation organisations, government agencies, land-managers and nature enthusiasts from around the world will come together to support this remarkable but very threatened group of species. Whether it is publishing a press release, giving a talk, holding a curlew cake and coffee morning and/or going for a curlew walk.

We want to know what you will be doing for curlew on the 21st; so please share your stories and pictures on social media using the hashtag #WorldCurlewDay2018

Sadly, Eskimo curlew, a former widespread and abundant species in the Americas is probably already extinct while there has been no sighting of the Slender-billed Curlew for over 20 years.

The world has likely lost two species in the last century!

We need to do all that we can to ensure that we don’t lose anymore!”


World Curlew Day Facebook page here:


Featured image: Curlew Numenius arquata, 13 December 2010, ©Ken Billington