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Threatened animal species in Sweden: Eurasian Curlew

The eurasian curlew, Sweden's largest wading bird, was once quite common in large parts of the country, but in recent decades it has declined sharply in numbers.

They can be recognized by their brown-speckled plumage, which changes to white on the upper rump. In Latin, the species is called "arc-shaped moon," referring to its long curved bill. Females often have longer beaks than males. A fully grown individual is about 50-55 cm long and has a wingspan of one meter.

With their long beaks, they look for invertebrates, such as sandworms, to feed on in soft sand and clay bottoms.

In the spring, the eurasian curlew comes from warmer latitudes in Europe to Sweden to breed. They build their nests on the ground in open marshes, meadows, moors, and farmland. The females leave Sweden already before midsummer, while the males stay until July to take care of the young.

The reasons why the eurasian curlew has declined drastically in Sweden are due to several factors, including the digging up of meadows, damaged nests by agriculture, the overgrowth of bogs, and hunting in Europe. Between 1994 and 2008, in two areas in Uppland and Västmanland, the population decreased by 50-60 percent. Nationally shows that it has decreased in the same order of magnitude in the last 30 years. From being considered to be near threatened, the species is now listed as highly threatened by the Species Data Bank's red list.

eurasian curlew

Credit: Ken Billington / CC BY-SA 3.0


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