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Richard Archer and Damon Bridge of the RSPB, monitoring curlews on the West Sedgemoor reserve

The Curlew Fieldworkers Toolkit

The launch of our Fieldworker’s Toolkit  has had to be postponed due to the coronavirus emergency but it is well on the way to being fully developed and ready to go.

We are most grateful to all of our supporters and donors - without your help we would never have a hope of achieving this.

We would especially like to thank all those who supported our Crowdfunder Appeal,  which raised over £7,500, as well as Wader Quest and the Bristol Naturalist's Society who each gave generous donations.

We are also delighted that DEFRA have shown support for the development of this toolkit and, if successful, plan to use it as a model for further projects.

We still require funding to hit our target of £100,000 in order to launch the toolkit in time for next year’s breeding season, so if possible, please consider supporting us with a one-off or regular donation - Visit our donations page for more details.

Our Fieldworker’s Toolkit consists of a set of resources to help volunteer fieldworkers monitor, record, and protect breeding curlews accurately and effectively. These resources include:

  • Electric fences. One of the reasons curlews are struggling to breed successfully is that their nests, which consist of a small scrape of flattened vegetation on the ground, are vulnerable to predators, such as foxes and badgers. Where our volunteers find a curlew nest, they will be able to use these fences to give the curlew parents the best possible chance of keeping their eggs safe until they hatch.
  • Temperature loggers. These are simple monitoring devices which use changes in nest temperature to record how much time parents spend sitting on their nest.
  • Cameras. These can be placed discreetly pointed at nests to monitor activity. This allows the collection of data on threats and disturbances to curlews.

We will also provide training and education for volunteers through a series of workshops, instructional videos, and online information. This will include instruction on how to locate nests and install fences and monitoring equipment with minimal disturbance to the birds.

West Sedgemoor RSPB
Tagging Curlews in Scotland
Curlew 010
Photograph © Tom Streeter
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