A COMMUNITY wildlife project is calling for support to help track mating curlew birds in north Shropshire.

The Tanat to Perry Community Wildlife Group area extends from Oswestry in the north to Kinnerley in the south, and eastwards from the Welsh border to Ruyton-XI-Towns: from the Tanat to the Perry.

The group, together with the Three Parishes Community Wildlife Group (which covers Weston Rhyn, St Martin’s and Gobowen), has been working with Shropshire Ornithological Society Save our Curlews Campaign to try to locate all the breeding pairs of Curlew.

A spokesman for the group says the objective is to find as many nests as possible and protect them from predators with an electric fence, then radio-tag and track the chicks to see what happens to them.

They added: “The two groups located 12-15 pairs altogether, nine to 10 in the Tanat to Perry area, and three to five in Three Parishes.


“One nest was found and fenced north of Oswestry.

“Three of the four eggs hatched, but all the chicks were predated, one definitely by a fox (the tag was recorded transmitting from inside its den), and the other two probably by a fox.

“A well-grown chick from a nearby nest was found and colour-ringed, and it went on to fledge, and two other separate pairs near Trefonen each also produced at least one fledged young.

“If you saw or heard a curlew in 2023, particularly if you observed evidence of breeding, please tell us – don’t assume we know about it.

“The number of fledged young is less than half of the productivity that Curlews need if they are to maintain their population.

The county Curlew population is estimated at 100-110 pairs, and at the current rate of decline it will half in 12 years, and become extinct in 25.

“We haven’t got long to save them – if you can help please let us know.”

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Ther group will be carrying on this work next year, and needs more people to help with the Community Wildlife Group surveys.

There will be a public meeting in Morda next March, but anyone interested in getting involved, please email leo@leosmith.org.uk

The surveys also monitor Lapwings, and several other priority species, and a report with the 2023 results will be published early in the new year.