International action plan for

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To promote broad national and international policies which ensure the long-term 

conservation of the Slender-billed Curlew and its habitats. 


1.1.1.  Encourage the maximum level of protection for the Slender-billed Curlew and its habitat 

under international conventions 

During 1993–1994 the Bonn Convention Secretariat (in discussion with BirdLife International 

and others) developed a Memorandum of Understanding “concerning conservation measures for 

the Slender-billed Curlew” for signing by Slender-billed Curlew range-states. The Memorandum 

of Understanding will provide a framework for range-state government action, while this action 

plan sets targets for the BirdLife International Network and NGOs, as well as governments. All 

Slender-billed Curlew range-states should be encouraged to sign this. 

Priority: medium 

Time-scale: medium 


1.1.2.  Encourage international policies that promote the conservation of Slender-billed Curlew 


Although the key sites for the Slender-billed Curlew are all IBAs (Grimmett and Jones 1989), 

and are mostly protected as reserves/national parks, the species also occurs occasionally at a 

wide range of wetland sites. Only very broad policies can promote the conservation of the range 

of such sites. Initiatives such as MEDWET and the ESA concept (within the EU) should be 

promoted where possible.  Any use of international funds (e.g. from the World Bank or EU 

structural funds) must be carefully assessed to ensure that wetlands are not damaged. 

Priority: high 

Time-scale: ongoing 


1.1.3.  Promote international cooperation and funding from bilateral sources and other 


The sharing both of experience and skills, and of the necessary funds to allow project work, is 

vitally important. Because the Slender-billed Curlew is little known and poses identification 

problems, the involvement of those with experience of the species in countries with limited 

knowledge of it (e.g. Albania, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan) can be of great value. Without outside 

support and funds, little will be achieved in many range-states. Bilateral support can be highly 

effective (e.g. Dutch government programmes in Ukraine and Russia) as can wider programmes 

(e.g. those funded by the EU/World Bank). 

Priority: medium 

Time-scale: ongoing 


1.1.4.  Encourage national policies for all protected areas which ensure that all Slender-billed 

Curlew key sites are fully and effectively protected (including sites where the species has 

been seen only occasionally) 

Any loss of (or damage to) wetland habitat within Slender-billed Curlew key sites, should be 

avoided and it is recommended that hunting should be banned at these sites. National wetland 

inventories (and conservation strategies) should be produced by each range-state to provide a 

framework for setting wetland conservation priorities.  




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Priority: high 

Time-scale: ongoing 



To promote the full and effective legal protection for the Slender-billed Curlew and 

its “look-alikes” throughout its range 


1.2.1.  Encourage legal protection of the Slender-billed Curlew 

Encourage the listing of the Slender-billed Curlew in each range-state as a strictly protected 

species, with maximum applicable penalties for contravention of the law. Countries where the 

species is not specifically protected in this way include Italy, Spain (not included in Royal 

Decree 439/1990), Tunisia and Ukraine (fine too low); the situation is unclear in Kazakhstan, 

Iran, Iraq and Russia. 



Time-scale: short 


1.2.2.  Encourage legal protection of look-alike species 

Encourage the listing of other Numenius and Limosa species (and Limnodromus in Russia) as 

protected species. This is necessary due to the problem of identifying Slender-billed Curlew; few 

hunters would be sure to make the correct identification until it was too late. This objective 

applies to Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Iraq, Italy (Black-tailed Godwit, and 

perhaps Eurasian Curlew and Bar-tailed Godwit if these are listed as quarry species), Morocco 

(Limosa), Romania, Russia, Tunisia (specific protection needed), Turkey (Black-tailed Godwit), 

Ukraine (Limosa) and former Yugoslavia. Thus only Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary and Spain have 

the necessary legislation on look-alike species. 

Priority: high 

Time-scale: short 







To promote the appropriate protection and management of all Slender-billed 

Curlew passage, wintering and breeding grounds 


2.1.1.  Promote the statutory protection of key sites 

Encourage the highest category of protection – as IBAs, Ramsar sites, strict reserves, national 

parks, etc. - for all existing key sites (and others as they become known). The establishment of 

buffer zones and no-hunting areas should also be encouraged where necessary. No damaging 

developments should be considered inside such areas. 

Priority: high 

Time-scale: medium 


2.1.2.  Promote the enforcement of legislation 

Encourage enforcement of legislation which will involve measures appropriate to each country, 

e.g. mass hunter education efforts (aided by national and international hunting organisations), 

intensive wardening of key sites, arrests to demonstrate that laws will be fully applied, and the 

creation of no-hunting buffer areas. Considerable effort will be necessary to achieve this in many 


Priority: high 

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