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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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