There are eight species of curlew worldwide and two are assumed extinct. The Eskimo and the Slender-Billed have not been seen for decades. Out of the remaining six species, three - the Eurasian, the Bristle-thighed and the Far Eastern - are at risk of extinction according to the IUCN Red list of Threatened Species. It is no exaggeration to say that many parts of the earth will lose curlews over the next few decades.
Curlews are iconic birds of wild, wet, evocative places – estuaries, mountain slopes, moorland, meadowland and coast. They have inspired poets, artists, musicians and writers for generations. They have given us so much, yet we are allowing them to slip away as we change their habitats and fail to protect them from predation, disturbance and in some places, hunting.
April 21 is designated as World Curlew Day. It is a grass-roots initiative, supported by major environmental organisations, to raise awareness of the plight of curlews and to encourage activities to help them. Please organise an event on April 21 and post it on the Twitter: @WCDApril21 or World Curlew Day Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WCDApril21/
Hold a talk, organise a curlew walk, have a curlew coffee morning, hold a curlew-themed art show, create a curlew song or dance, hold a curlew-themed poetry evening, draw a curlew picture, have a Curlew Day at a local school, hold a ‘curlew conversation’ and record people’s memories of when curlew were common… Any monies raised can go towards local or national curlew projects. Thank you for supporting World Curlew Day.
Protection in Place for Curlew:
- For a summary of issues affecting all curlew species please see
- For information on the Hudsonian Whimbrel
- For the Long Billed Curlew
- For the Eurasian curlew
- For the Far Eastern Curlew
- Conservation Statements for Numeniini Species (CMS)
- Scientific article: A global threats overview for Numeniini populations: synthesising expert knowledge for a group of declining migratory birds
- Curlew Media and Consultancy