Kerry County Council To Mark World Curlew Day

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Pictured at the unveiling of the World Curlew Day Flag at County Buildings in Tralee, l-r: David Rees (NPWS), Cathy Fisher (KCC), Una Williams (NPWS).

COMMUNITIES, schools, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Kerry County Council are joining forces to mark World Curlew Day 2019, which takes place on Easter Sunday, April 21.

This worldwide initiative which aims to raise awareness of and celebrate these iconic and charismatic birds was the brainchild of Dr Barry O’Donoghue, who established and coordinates the Curlew Conservation Programme in Ireland.

“The Curlew is one of Ireland’s best known and most loved birds, instantly recognisable by its long legs and long curved bill. We see thousands of curlew flock to the Kerry coast over winter, but our own native curlew are, sadly, almost extinct. Without action, the beautiful bubbling call of the curlew, which for many has always been a soundtrack to the summer countryside, will fall silent. We have only a handful of curlew pairs left in all of county Kerry.

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‘The Curlew Conservation Programme is working with landowners and local communities to help the last remaining curlew rear their young, in a hope of holding onto the Curlew as a Kerry and Irish bird. Local landowners and communities are proud to have a living link to what would have filled the summers of our parents and grandparents and indeed something that would have been part of Ireland for as long as history can tell. We could be the last generation to know of the curlew’s call if positive action is not taken now.”

Biodiversity Officer with Kerry County Council, Cathy Fisher, explained: “World Curlew Day, now in its second year, is being celebrated across the globe. In Kerry, local schools in the Stack’s Mountains area contributed colourful art and short stories on the Curlew, and will take part in the perpetual Curlew Cup, a football competition between schools of the Stack’s Mountains, the most important area for curlew in Kerry. Students from IT Tralee have completed a moving short film featuring the curlew.”

The World Curlew Day Flag will be flown at Kerry County Buildings. People are urged to make contact with the local Curlew Conservation Programme team should they hear or see the curlew this spring/summer by emailing curlewsightings@gmail.com or contacting 087 2646448.

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