Open day held to highlight curlew crisis
They have a distinctive sound that appeals to bird lovers near and far – but the humble whaap is in decline.
The local RSPB branch say the UK’s curlew population has halved since the mid 1990s.
And while the drop in numbers of the much-loved wading bird has been less marked in the isles, Shetland is still said to have seen a population decline.
Now, the RSPB has held a family friendly event aimed at raising awareness of the so-called curlew crisis.
And crowds gathered at the Quarff Hall today to learn more about the important wading birds, and the problems they face.
Local RSPB area manager Helen Moncrieff said: “We had a survey done in 1993 and in 2013, and it’s gone down by 12 per cent in that time.”
She added curlews were increasingly finding their habitat was not providing them with the conditions they need to thrive.
However, she said the organisation was doing work with the crofting and farming sectors through environmental schemes to help improve things.
Guided walks formed part of the attractions of the day – signed off with music from the Fleetwood Mac tribute band Chain Gang.
“We’re raising awareness of whaaps and other waders too and celebrating them so more folk now about them.”