International action plan for

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- 18 -

Time-scale: medium 


2.1.3.  Promote prevention of disturbance 

At all key sites, but especially at wintering sites, disturbance (intentional and unintentional) 

should be kept to a minimum. Where serious disturbance is being caused to Slender-billed 

Curlews, reserve wardens should have the power to close certain areas to visitors. 

Priority: medium 

Time-scale: short 


2.1.4.  Promote appropriate management of key sites 

Encourage the provision of all necessary resources – financial and manpower – for the effective 

protection and management of such sites. Where countries do not have sufficient resources for 

essential management, international organisations, including BirdLife International, should help 

raise funds. Management plans will be needed for key sites, taking into account the Slender-

billed Curlew's needs, e.g. the creation of wet areas, drained fishponds, appropriate grazing 

levels and, where necessary, reserve maintenance should be fine-tuned to the needs of the 

Slender-billed Curlew, e.g. appropriate timing of fishpond drainage in the Hortobágy. 

Priority: high 

Time-scale: ongoing 


2.1.5.  Promote protection of breeding grounds 

Should the breeding grounds be found, all necessary steps will need to be taken to give the 

species total protection from any disturbance, or threat of predation. Decisions on conservation 

actions on the breeding grounds should be taken by a specialist Slender-billed Curlew working 

group (involving those searching for the breeding grounds under the agreement of cooperation 

with Novosibirsk). Great care should be taken with distribution of information. If necessary such 

information should be kept completely confidential. 


high (when breeding grounds are found) 

Time-scale: ongoing 







To locate and study the current breeding grounds 


3.1.1.  Undertake ground surveys to locate breeding grounds 

Due to the present lack of transmitters small enough to undertake satellite tracking (see 3.1.2) 

ground searches for the breeding grounds should continue. 

Priority: essential 

Time-scale: ongoing 


3.1.2.  Develop technology to enable use of satellite tracking (from a wintering site) to pinpoint 

the breeding area 

Such a technique will only be feasible if transmitter weight comes down to 10–12 g and the 

process must be carried out with every possible care and precaution. If battery power allows, 

such tracking could also provide information on the spring migration route and stopover sites.  In 

the event of the technology becoming available, it may be necessary to establish an international 

protocol as to the use of the technique for this species. 




- 19 -

Priority: high 

Time-scale: medium/long 


3.1.3.  Studies in the summering/breeding area, if located 

Only 2–3 experienced researchers should be involved, with wardens available if necessary to 

protect the site. If nesting birds are seen, the maximum possible amount of information should be 

obtained, using all available techniques (including video monitoring, if feasible). Following such 

research, any necessary management measures should be carefully introduced (habitat 

management, predator control, supplementary feeding, etc. see 2.1.5.). 


high (when breeding grounds are found) 

Time-scale: medium 



To locate and study further key wintering and passage sites 


3.2.1. Ground 


In the absence of the necessary satellite-tracking transmitters at present, ground surveys should 

be continued, particularly in the least-known countries. Much time has already been spent on 

such surveys and a good deal of useful information has resulted. Observers must be sufficiently 

experienced and training sessions organised where necessary. The use of a good telescope is 

essential in almost all cases. Ground surveys will be difficult in some countries (eg Algeria and 

Iraq) until the political situation improves. 


high (wintering areas: Algeria, Iran, Iraq, southern Morocco, Spain) 



medium (passage sites: Croatia, Kazakhstan, south-west Russia, Turkey,  



Time-scale: ongoing 


3.2.2. Satellite-tracking 

If this can be carried out (and if it works well), unprecedented information will result on at least 

the spring migration route. If Slender-billed Curlews rest for a few days at stopover sites, 

observers on the ground could be alerted and could gather detailed information, as has been 

successfully achieved for the Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus in some countries. 

At present it is unlikely that autumn and wintering sites could be located by this means, due to 

limitations on battery life. 


high (if possible) 

Time-scale: medium/long 


3.2.3.  Monitor known (and any further identified) key sites 

Where possible such monitoring should be carried out by on-site (or local) reserve 

staff/ornithologists. Full details should be recorded of all sightings (on Slender-billed Curlew 

record sheets) and if possible detailed observations should be made. A full research programme 

should be carried out at wintering sites (Merja Zerga is currently the only regular site known) 

and, using such research, recommendations for beneficial management should be made.  A 

central register of sightings of the species should be kept pending greater understanding of key 

sites and migration routes. 

Priority: medium 

Time-scale: ongoing 

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