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Farmers asked to report sightings of bush stone-curlews

Murray Local Land Services is carrying out surveys of bush stone-curlews until the end of September to gain information on the current population of this threatened bird across the Murray region.

Bush stone-curlew numbers have declined in many areas over the last two decades, and it is now unclear how many curlews remain in the region. Nature Conservation Working Group, a group of local farmers working on bush stone-curlew conservation, has released young, captive-bred curlews in Buraja and Moulamein to supplement the declining local populations.

Secretary of the group, Jan Lubke, said members supported the survey work.

“The surveys will enable us to better understand how our released curlews are currently doing and how far they may have moved from where we initially released them,” she said.

Mail surveys have recently been sent out to landholders in the Buraja and Moulamein area, as well as around Barham, which has been home to a significant population of curlews. Nocturnal field surveys by bird and wildlife expert Chris Tzaros will follow during August.

Senior Land Services Officer at Murray Local Land Services, Elisa Tack, said the information landholders provide on curlew sightings will be important to allow future planning for curlew conservation activities.

“Hearing from landholders about sightings of curlews is our best chance to get a picture of how curlews are going in our region,” she said.

“This is important information if we are to work on ensuring curlews continue to be heard in our rural areas for years to come.”

Surveys for the Moulamein, Buraja and Barham areas can be downloaded by clicking this link, or an online survey can be completed for landholders in other parts of the Murray region.

For more information, contact Elisa Tack, Senior Land Services Officer on (02) 6051 2233, elisa.tack@lls.nsw.gov.au.