Conservation Strategies for the Long-billed Curlew

Executive Summary: (September 2013) Long-billed Curlew (curlew) populations have declined throughout much of their range.  The species is on the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) Watch List, is a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Bird of Conservation Concern, is a Species of Concern in Canada, and was identified as a Species in Greatest Need of Conservation in the State Wildlife Action Plans of most states in which it breeds. Both the U.S. and Canadian Shorebird Plans list the species as “highly imperiled”.  Our intent with document was to move forward with several recommendations from the USFWS Status Assessment and Conservation Action Plan for the species.  Our goals are to implement habitat protection, enhancement and management alternatives to ensure no net loss of Long-billed Curlew nesting habitat throughout its breeding range, and increase populations by 30% over 30 years (through 2043).  We identified significant threats and opportunities, selected 12 continental and additional draft regional focal areas for curlew conservation, and present recommended best management practices (and standards) to implement at rangewide, ecoregional and focal area scales. The latter fall into five categories: 1) Manage grazing appropriately; 2) Halt habitat conversion; 3) Emphasize native grasses and forbs; 4) Avoid disturbance during sensitive periods; and 5) Adjust certain agricultural practices.  Effective conservation of the Long-billed Curlew will require concerted efforts by agencies, non-government organizations, landowners and citizen scientists to ensure that important breeding sites and habitats are identified and managed to meet the habitat needs of the species.  Tracking of opportunities, population and occupied habitat estimates, and conservation accomplishments will be facilitated by setting up a registry system for each of the continental and regional focal areas.

Author, Source 
American Bird Conservancy