The Prince of Wales was joined by Natural England’s Chair, Tony Juniper, on the Sandringham Estate today to release of one of the country’s most iconic threatened species – the Eurasian Curlew – in a bid to boost populations in the East of England.
The Curlew is Europe’s largest wading bird and is of the highest conservation priority, needing urgent action to increase its population. The UK is home to roughly a quarter of the global breeding population but the species has suffered very significant declines since the 1970s due to habitat loss and predation.
Today’s release at Sandringham hopes to mark the start of recovery for these unique and special birds.
The Prince said:
I have always cherished the evocative call of the curlew, but it is now dangerously close to being something that our grandchildren will never have the chance to enjoy. I am therefore particularly delighted that the Sandringham Estate has been able to assist in a small way the recovery of this wonderful bird. This initiative would not have been possible without the tireless work of many people and organisations working in partnership towards a common aim. Every curlew nest is something to prize, nurture and protect, and it is utterly vital that we work together to turn this iconic bird’s fortunes around.
His Royal Highness has long been concerned about the threats facing the Curlew and having hosted Curlew Recovery Summits, launched the Curlew Recovery Partnership earlier this year to provide coordination and support to Curlew conservation.