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Conserving Curlews in the Brecks and beyond

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

Dr Samantha Franks (BTO)

Harry Ewing (BTO/UEA)

Online talk: Thursday 27th January 2022


Please note that this talk will be held online only. Members will be emailed a link to join the talk approximately 10 days before the talk date.


Targeted management actions are commonly used to restore populations of rare or localised species but are now increasingly required to reverse declines of formerly abundant and widespread species, which have become thinly distributed across human-modified landscapes.

The first half of this talk uses results from a field-based study to explore the potential of using targeted management tools to boost breeding populations of the Eurasian curlew.

The second half of this talk explores the potential of ‘headstarting’ as a targeted conservation measure to bolster small populations of lowland breeding curlew and details the initial findings from one year of headstarting curlew in Norfolk.

Headstarting hit the headlines in July 2021, when both HRH The Prince of Wales and Tony Juniper (Natural England Chair) helped release a Curlew on the Sandringham Estate.

Sam Franks is a Senior Research Ecologist in BTO's Wetland & Marine Team. She leads various projects on Curlew and other waders, including BTO's role in a partnership project headstarting Curlew in Eastern England and representing BTO on the England Curlew Recovery Partnership and the UK & Ireland Curlew Action Group.

Harry Ewing is an ornithologist focused on researching the applied ecology and conservation of breeding waders. He is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of East Anglia, on identifying conservation actions to conserve breeding curlew populations.

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