Jump to content

Bad news for curlews.


Recommended Posts

I am good friends with one of my lecturers from my university days. He's currently marking group assessments and one chose to do an action plan for curlew breeding and conservation. All well and good...

Until you read it and they're planting hedgerows in left right and centre to give breeding places for said curlew. Not a thought given to whether that's actually where they nest. or like to feed. or find cover. Or whether giving foxes such an easy patrol structure is quite so sensible for a plan to improve curlew breeding.

So it looks like in 5 years curlews are going to die out at the hands of conservationists and their dedicated incompetence. The arrogance of them also annoys me! couldn't one of them just look in a book just to check they knew what they were talking about?

The depressing thing? These students are Masters students! Although if they keep this up they're not going to be masters graduates, so maybe there's hope yet. Their lecturer certainly not going to be passing them at this rate. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Then the mark should reflect the lack of thought and research put into the paper. Marked down for not having a clue where they breed for a start. 

You are right though, god help us of these are masters students who want a career in conservation. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

A piece of land beside the river that my father owned for many years used to have nesting curlews.  Hidden in the middle of the long (cropped for hay in those days) was their favoured nesting place.  Later they were slightly more at risk if nesting late as silage took over from hay, but usually the silage cut was after they had nested.

The present owners are very conservation minded and crop late ......... but the huge number of dog walkers who now ignore private land and treat the fields as their own have prevented nesting again.  I admonished one dog owner - only to be reminded 'you don't own it anymore' (sadly true, though I never did own it) - and their dog was only chasing wild birds and doing no harm!

Most of the river meadows (the curlews favoured sites) locally are all walked over by dog walkers now.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, chrisjpainter said:

I am good friends with one of my lecturers from my university days. He's currently marking group assessments and one chose to do an action plan for curlew breeding and conservation. All well and good...

Until you read it and they're planting hedgerows in left right and centre to give breeding places for said curlew. Not a thought given to whether that's actually where they nest. or like to feed. or find cover. Or whether giving foxes such an easy patrol structure is quite so sensible for a plan to improve curlew breeding.

So it looks like in 5 years curlews are going to die out at the hands of conservationists and their dedicated incompetence. The arrogance of them also annoys me! couldn't one of them just look in a book just to check they knew what they were talking about?

The depressing thing? These students are Masters students! Although if they keep this up they're not going to be masters graduates, so maybe there's hope yet. Their lecturer certainly not going to be passing them at this rate. 

Didn't you know that curlews nest up trees and predators dont eat curlew chicks or eggs, the new buzz word is re-wilding get with it !

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Dougy said:

Looks like the so called future conservationists has failed his assessment.  

Don't worry, I'm sure the group that decided to do a huge replanting of woodland using only elm and ash will do better.

Or the group that decided to put a 5 metre deer fence all along the both banks of a chalk stream, because there's evidence that cattle and deer negatively impact water voles. Did they ask what the deer density is? no. did they check to see if cows were in the fields bordering the stream? no. 

I did my MSc (wildlife management & conservation) there a few years ago and it was a brilliant course with a great bunch of students. First session as an ice breaker, one lecturer gave us a list of 30 famous people connected with wildlife, the natural world and the countryside. We had two put them in on of two columns: Conservationist or con artist. Packham ended up in both columns because there was no consensus. Back then it was a brilliant course. I think it's changed a lot now. A lot less management, a lot more cotton wool and idealism.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had many many days walking around Derbyshire fields with my Grandfather (Pop) he was one of these people like many of those days that just seemed to know everything. Curlews and Nightingales were two that i never forgot about being ground nesting, he would point out areas that they were nesting and amazing to see as a kid and virtually invisible without the knowledge of good old Pop. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, JohnfromUK said:

A piece of land beside the river that my father owned for many years used to have nesting curlews.  Hidden in the middle of the long (cropped for hay in those days) was their favoured nesting place.  Later they were slightly more at risk if nesting late as silage took over from hay, but usually the silage cut was after they had nested.

The present owners are very conservation minded and crop late ......... but the huge number of dog walkers who now ignore private land and treat the fields as their own have prevented nesting again.  I admonished one dog owner - only to be reminded 'you don't own it anymore' (sadly true, though I never did own it) - and their dog was only chasing wild birds and doing no harm!

Most of the river meadows (the curlews favoured sites) locally are all walked over by dog walkers now.

Its a great shame to see the diminishment of the life chances of an iconic bird like the curlew by, in part, uncontrolled dog ownership. I'm astonished that in these sensitive times no-one has questioned the morality of keeping an animal simply for the delectation of its "owner". There seems to be a move towards encouraging the presence of animals in their natural surroundings but dogs are apparently different.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny that, our 3 pairs of Curlew nest in the middle of 2500 acres of completely open flat heathland. Not a hedge or tree to be seen. Although saying that I can see this year being a disaster with the massive increase in dog walkers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this from the similar mindset of those who wanted otters reintroduced literally everywhere? Similar to a faction of the RSPB brigade who want otters introduced into lakes in Kent to stop angling on the reserves without considering that once the otters eat all the fish they then turn to the birds? Cousins of the nut-jobs who want Lynx re-introduced citing the only key metric of success being that the Lynx breed and their population / range extends. You really have to wonder sometimes...

Link to post
Share on other sites

There used to be Curlews nest on the old coal mining land near where I grew up, they were always in the middle of nowhere,  certainly not along a hedge line.

I wonder if any of these masters Students have ever actually been out and seen Curlews and looked at where they nest?

Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend of mine tells how he once met a young man who was writing a book on otters. When asked where he watched them he replied that he had never seen one, they are very rare you know! Apparently he was getting his information from other books. He had no answer to whether the other authors had ever seen one either.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Velocette said:

Its a great shame to see the diminishment of the life chances of an iconic bird like the curlew by, in part, uncontrolled dog ownership. I'm astonished that in these sensitive times no-one has questioned the morality of keeping an animal simply for the delectation of its "owner". There seems to be a move towards encouraging the presence of animals in their natural surroundings but dogs are apparently different.

Well I'm certainly not supporting marauding dogs destroying curlew nesting sites, where exactly do you think a dogs natural surroundings is? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Velocette said:

Its a great shame to see the diminishment of the life chances of an iconic bird like the curlew by, in part, uncontrolled dog ownership. I'm astonished that in these sensitive times no-one has questioned the morality of keeping an animal simply for the delectation of its "owner". There seems to be a move towards encouraging the presence of animals in their natural surroundings but dogs are apparently different.

How would you propose to 'control' dog ownership?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really can't see the problem with re planting hedgerows, they're wildlife coridoors and good breeding for lots of birds. 

Curlews like open fields, so they will best away from hedges. We never had a problem with numbers years ago when we had hundreds of thousands of miles more hedgerows.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, fern01 said:

How would you propose to 'control' dog ownership?

I'm not sure how it could be done but possibly ownership could be restricted to demonstrably working dogs and licensed as such.?  I'm simply surprised that the notion of a "pet" is still acceptable in the current climate. 

 

11 hours ago, 12gauge82 said:

Well I'm certainly not supporting marauding dogs destroying curlew nesting sites, where exactly do you think a dogs natural surroundings is? 

In a forest with other wolves ?

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, figgy said:

I really can't see the problem with re planting hedgerows, they're wildlife coridoors and good breeding for lots of birds. 

Curlews like open fields, so they will best away from hedges. We never had a problem with numbers years ago when we had hundreds of thousands of miles more hedgerows.

Hedges are fantastic but as you know of no use to Curlews, instead the hedge corridor will bring in predators, Farming practises are responsible for the Curlews decline, [cultivation and harvest timing], The latest threat is the proposed planting of trees in our uplands, which will further reduce breeding habitat and increase the likelihood of wildfires during the summer. the OP was about a conservation msc student's lack of understanding of basic knowledge

Link to post
Share on other sites

So one group of students at one educational establishment submit a lamentable ‘action plan’ for curlews, a fictionalaction plan at that.  And you are writing off the future for Curlews in the Uk!  Drama queen.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, scolopax said:

So one group of students at one educational establishment submit a lamentable ‘action plan’ for curlews, a fictionalaction plan at that.  And you are writing off the future for Curlews in the Uk!  Drama queen.

Oh dear

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Velocette said:

I'm not sure how it could be done but possibly ownership could be restricted to demonstrably working dogs and licensed as such.?  I'm simply surprised that the notion of a "pet" is still acceptable in the current climate. 

 

In a forest with other wolves ?

😂 Dogs are a distinctively different animal to a wolf as we both know, your comment does make me chuckle though. 

The thing is dogs are a comparatively very minor problem for the curlew, the biggest problem is habitat loss and intensive farming. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Mice! said:

There used to be Curlews nest on the old coal mining land near where I grew up, they were always in the middle of nowhere,  certainly not along a hedge line.

I wonder if any of these masters Students have ever actually been out and seen Curlews and looked at where they nest?

Agree about the nest locations, on a trip along the English side of the Solway Firth we saw about 100 Curlew in open fields along the roadside, all appeared to favour the open field centres over the edges? Presumably easier escape from predators?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not curlews but sipposed experts. I stalked over 300 + acres of woodland which was supposedly managed by Natural England. I was told I could not so much as trim a twig but after about four years ther appeared a couple of huge timber recovery tractors and guys with chain saws and they devastated half the wood where every spring there would be a carpet of buebells and orchids, the tractors left ruts I could almost drive my Land Rover down. They tore the place apart.  Simply by using horses to harvest the timber which did need thinning would have saved all this devastation

  EXPERTS....well we all know the description don't we?

Edited by Walker570
Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.lancs.live/news/local-news/cumbria-wood-next-m6-gets-19871017

I posted this on the squirrel group on Facebook,  I saw it as a good example of a wood being managed and revitalised,  obviously some have said the cost was ridiculous,  but so are most things these days with these kind of things.

Made a change reading that they hadn't just tirn down half the wood like Walker says above.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...