Threatened Stone-Curlews Being Tracked with GPS Tracking Technology

1 Jan 2018

stone curlew

The stone-curlews is among Britain’s top threatened bird species and scientists are tracking them with GPS tracking technology in order to help create a habitat where it will be able to survive.

These birds also are referred to as thick-knees and dikkops. They originate from the family Burhinidae and have 9 nine different species. Two of the species live in Australia and the others are located in the temperate and tropical areas of the world. They prefer arid habitats despite them being classified as waders.

The stone-curlew is about the size of a crow and has bright yellow eyes. Around 30 years ago in the UK, it came close to extinction, not breeding anymore. With the help of conservation work, however, the number of these birds increased to about 400 breeding pairs. Stone-curlews are generally nocturnal and you can hear their loud wailing singing which brings true curlews to mind.

Stone-curlew and thick-knee are commonly used to reference the birds and each year, the preference of one term to another varies. Stone-curlews eat mostly invertebrates and insects and some of the larger birds will prey on small mammals and lizards.

The GPS tracking devices are being used so scientists can learn more about these birds and help landowners create better environments for them to nest and eat to sustain their species in the UK.

The information researchers are obtaining through this tracking is helping them learn different things they were not able to study before. This helps them determine what they need to do in order to ensure the survival of the species.

Through GPS tracking, scientists were able to discover that certain birds would travel far from their nests to reach their favored feeding site.

The stone-curlew species has actually doubled in number since the year 1985 thanks to conservation work by land managers, farmers, wildlife groups and gamekeepers.

The goal of conservationists is to create a habitat that is safe enough for the birds where they feed and nest and not be threatened by mechanized agriculture.  GPS tracking seems to be doing this job well.

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