International action plan for



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- 14 -

* Spain 

 

6 records, 1962–1980 (max. 13 birds), plus up to 35 unconfirmed observations, all but 



three from Coto Doñana, January 1990 to February 1992. 

 

Potential key site: Coto Doñana National Park (SPA). 

The Slender-billed Curlew is listed as Insufficiently Known in the Spanish Red Data Book 

(Blanco and Gonzaléz 1992). It is not, however, included in the national inventory of endangered 

species (Royal Decree 439/1990) and thus is not legally considered as belonging to the Spanish 

avifauna. All other curlews and godwits are protected and there is not thought to be a problem 

with the hunting of large waders (R. Martí verbally and in litt. 1994). Among waders, only 

Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus, Snipe and Woodcock are legal 

quarry (Royal Decree 1095/1989). Surveys for the species were carried out in Doñana and other 

selected sites on the Andalucian coast, between November 1993 and January 1994, under the EU 

(ACNAT) project. No Slender-billed Curlew records resulted from these surveys, but a full 

report was produced on the past occurrence and conservation of the species (Urdiales, in 

European Commission 1994). 

 

* Tunisia 

 

26 records, 1915–1992 (max. 32 birds), plus two unconfirmed records. 



 Key 

areas: Kairouan–Monastir; Gulf of Gabès. 

Curlews and godwits are not listed as quarry species, and curlews, but not godwits, are explicitly 

protected under Article 7, Arrêté de Chasse (curlews were listed in June 1994 following a request 

from BirdLife International). There were some 15,000 registered hunters in 1992–1993 (the 

highest number to date) plus almost 2,000 tourist hunters. Existing laws are generally respected, 

although there may be some poaching at certain sites. During February and March 1992 surveys 

of coastal wetlands were carried out by RSPB, following similar surveys in Algeria (Chown and 

Linsley 1994); 25 sites were checked, but no Slender-billed Curlews were seen. Further surveys 

were carried out the following winter (November 1992 and January 1993) by the Institut Royal 

des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, under the ACNAT project, and a paper was written 

evaluating the probability of Slender-billed Curlew occurring with Eurasian Curlew in Tunisia 

(Ledant and Lafontaine, in European Commission 1994). 

 

* Turkey 

 

29 records, 1946–1990 (max. 4 birds), plus 3 unconfirmed records. 



 

Potential key sites: Göksu delta (3 records), Tuz Gölü, Seyfe Gölü. 

The Slender-billed Curlew is protected; other curlew species and Bar-tailed Godwit have been 

protected since 1992. Black-tailed Godwit is still a legal quarry species (open season 15 

September–28 February). Although only 12 wader species are not strictly protected, in practice 

almost all waders are liable to be shot, as there is very little awareness or enforcement of existing 

laws. There are some 4–5 million hunters, of whom only 2 million are licensed (Magnin 1989, 

M. Yarar in litt.). DHKD helped with the 1988-1990 BirdLife International project, and issued a 

request to visiting birdwatchers in April 1990 for information on Slender-billed Curlew and other 

threatened species. DHKD also distributed information and recommendations for conservation 

efforts widely among government officials. WIWO (International Wader and Waterfowl 

Research Group) carried out several surveys at major wetlands in the late 1980s and early 1990s, 

but only recorded one probable Slender-billed Curlew (Çukurova delta, 1986).  The potential key 

sies are not fully protected. 

 

* Ukraine 




 

 

 



- 15 -

 

15 records, 1908–1993 (max. 48 birds), plus 18 unconfirmed records. 



 Key 

areas: Danube delta; northern Black Sea; Azov Sea and Sivash lagoon; partly 

protected (as Zapovedniks or Zakazniks), but large areas unprotected. 

The Slender-billed Curlew is listed in the Red Data Book and is protected (penalty five times the 

minimum monthly wage), as are Eurasian Curlew and Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus (penalty 

four times the minimum monthly wage), under the law of 19/4/93 (Appendix 1/6/93). Godwits 

are not protected, however, and there is little enforcement of existing laws. There are 530,000 

hunters, about 1% of the population. Surveys for the species were carried out in 1993 under the 

ACNAT project, and WIWO has also carried out detailed work on waterbirds at Sivash (van der 

Have et al. 1992). The IWRB Black Sea meeting in Odessa in October 1993 afforded a useful 

opportunity to discuss Slender-billed Curlew conservation issues in the region. 

 

* Croatia 

 

5 records, 1970–1987 (max. 2 birds), plus 11 unconfirmed records. 



Included in the 1988-1990 BirdLife International project (as part of the then Yugoslavia); the 

species was given considerable publicity by the Croatian Institue for Ornithology. Five Slender-

billed Curlews are known to have been shot between 1970 and 1987 (three by Italian hunters). 

There has been little conservation action since 1990, due to the political situation. (Information 

on current hunting law is awaited.) 

 

* Former 



Yugoslavia 

 

38 records (32 from Vojvodina), 1900–1984 (max. 50 birds). 



 Key 

site: Soskopo. 

The Slender-billed Curlew was unprotected in the former Yugoslavia, but is apparently now 

protected (IRSNB 1994). In 1988, in the former Yugoslavia, there were 264,000 registered 

hunters, as well as many visiting hunters from abroad, particularly Italy. Two Slender-billed 

Curlews are known to have been shot in Vojvodina in 1962 and 1968. Surveys for the species 

were carried out, mainly in Vojvodina, between 1988 and 1990, under the 1988-1990 BirdLife 

International project. Due to the political situation no further work has been carried out. 

 

 



PART 2. 

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 

 

AIMS 

 

1. 


In the short term to prevent the extinction of the Slender-billed Curlew. 

2. 


In the medium term to prevent any further decrease in the Slender-billed Curlew 

population caused by threats in either the breeding, passage or wintering grounds. 

3. 

In the long term to secure a significant increase the number of Slender-billed Curlews. 





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