Endangered birds are hand-reared by conservationists


Several endangered curlew chicks are being raised by hand by conservationists in an effort to aid in the recovery of the species.

Experts attribute the decline in wading bird populations in recent years to increased human interaction.

We are taking care of the 40 chicks from the eggs in the hopes that more will survive than if the eggs were left in the wild.

The birds, which were laid eggs in May, will eventually be released on the Kent nature reserve known as Elmley.

In lowland England, there are 250 breeding pairs currently active, but according to reserve manager Gareth Fulton, if nothing is done, there will be a local extinction in the next 20 years.

"That's caused by the fact that there are more of us and we are using the land more intensively. For example, we may cut the grass earlier or leave more trash outside so that there are more foxes to eat the curlews' eggs. ".

The birds have been listed as an endangered species on the UK Red List, which is external.

Hand-reared curlew chicks at Elmley Nature Reserve

More curlew chicks will survive to adulthood in the wild because they were hand-raised.

It is hoped that the birds released at Elmley will create a new colony because curlews, like other wading birds, return to the area where they were born to breed.

The chicks were being raised by Jenny Collins, who said it was very satisfying to see them develop into proper curlews and hear them making adult noises and attempting to fly.

"I wanted to get involved in conservation work where I knew my efforts would have some effect, no matter how small, on the populations in the wild.

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