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by samuel heath


h: 21 w: 30 d: 1 (cms).

Curlews are integral parts of many different ecosystems. They can act as low cost bioindicators as their presence will show both aquatic and invertebrate diversity in their breeding grounds as well as a species richness of plants. They also move nutrients around in their faeces. Their seasonal migration between wetlands and uplands means they have important roles in balancing soil chemistry and nutrient cycles in different habitats across the country. A lack of their presence in prime breeding grounds signifies an unhealthy and unhappy ecosystem that has very little biodiversity. In addition to this, their habitats are being destroyed by intensive farming practices and the planting of timber forests, inturn, rapidly decreasing their population. Between only 1995 and 2020, there has been a 48% reduction in their population and their UK conservation status is now red. This is not just bad news for Britain as their UK breeding population is of international importance. Their decreasing population is yet another lack of freedom for wild places. The land is being manicured, whether it be the use of pesticide or the drainage of the moors and bogs they depend on. The agriculture and timber industry are destroying the habitats further. This is a species that desperately needs our help because we are rapidly killing them and pushing them ever closer to extinction. I don’t want the curlew to be another dodo. I want my children’s children’s children to be able to hear their warbling call and laugh silently whilst watching one catch its prey through a bird hides window. I want them to know what a curlew is - not a dead bird - an incredible bird that lives forever and helps the ecosystem to stay in balance.

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