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Tuesday 12 November 2019

Shooting of endangered curlew banned to prevent extinction

Treacy Hogan

A BAN on hunting curlews was imposed today to prevent their extinction.

A massive decline in curlew numbers – down by up to 95pc - was behind the Government ban.

Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan removed the bird from the open season for shooting wild game birds.

The curlew has traditionally had a one month hunting season during November.

But a ban has now been introduced as there has been a huge decline in the bird numbers.

A number of surveys and studies in the past year have estimated a dramatic reduction in the total number of breeding pairs of curlews in Ireland.

These estimates indicate a decrease ranging from 60pc to 96pc.

A study of 60 previously recorded breeding sites in Donegal and Mayo found just eight pairs, four in each county.

The curlew has been red-listed as a globally threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2007.

The European population is experiencing similar declines.

Mr Deenihan said :” This decision will be welcomed by conservationists and hunters.”

“ I am aware that some hunting bodies have already introduced voluntary hunting bans for the curlew and I commend them for this action.”

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