Curlew is now a Red listed bird of conservation concern in the UK and considered 'Vulnerable' on a European scale and the global population is near-threatened .The rapid declines in our Curlew population has made it the UK's most important conservtion priority; the reasons for this decline appears to be, potantially, as a result of breeding habitat loss, predation and climate change.
This species is a resident and migrant breeding species with numbers supplemented in winter by continental birds. The single subspecies arquata is found in the UK. The Curlew we see on the Humber Estuary in winter originate predominantly from Fennoscandia and Russia, but individuals breeding locally in the UK also winter on the Humber. The rapid decline in our breeding Curlew population has made it the UK's most important conservation priority. The reasons for this decline appear to be driven by poor productivity on the species breeding ground, which is linked to breeding habitat loss, predation and climate change. The Humber is the 7th most important estuary for wintering Eurasian Curlew in the UK, with the latest WeBS five-year average of 2,806 birds. Curlew are notably difficult to catch with mist-nets but the group has had good success with this species. The group has successfully GPS tagged Curlew over three winters to track their movements around the Humber Estuary – as part of a joint study with the University of Hull and the BTO.
Further information can be found in the following article:
Samantha E. Franks, David J. T. Douglas, Simon Gillings & James W. Pearce-Higgins (2017) Environmental correlates of breeding abundance and population change of Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata in Britain, Bird Study, 64:3, 393-409, DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2017.1359233