This 2016 video is called:
Birds of Ireland: The Curlew & its haunting song
Status: Winter visitor to wetlands throughout Ireland, as well as breeding in small numbers in floodplains and boglands.
Conservation Concern: Red-listed in Ireland due to its small and declining breeding population. The European population is experiencing similar problems and has been evaluated as Declining.
A sad situation in France, since the minister for the environment in the Macron administration, Nicolas Hulot, resigned in despair, as he found out that the rest of that administration did not care about the environment, only about billionaires’ profits.
Even right-wing politicians like Annie Schreijer-Pierik of the Dutch CDA party are now worried.
Translated from Dutch CDA member of the European Union parliament Annie Schreijer-Pierik, 26 July 2019:
BRUSSELS – MEP Annie Schreijer-Pierik (CDA) sounds the alarm again about the French hunting of protected meadow birds. “The European Commission is now launching an infringement procedure against France for the use of glue traps and standing bird nets in violation of the Birds Directive. But Brussels remains silent about the premature lifting by the French Council of State of a moratorium on the hunting of curlews and black-tailed godwits earlier this month. A few days ago, the French Ministry of the Environment made things even worse by suddenly approving rights to kill six thousand curlews (and thirty thousand turtle doves). “Unacceptable and unheard of in this Year of the Curlew“, says the CDA politician, who therefore asks emergency questions to European Union Commissioner Karmenu Vella (Environment) just before the summer break. She wants to know how the Commission will prevent a possible reopening of the black-tailed godwit hunt and will stop the re-admitted French curlew hunting.
“The French shooting of curlews is in no way justifiable and is contrary to all guidelines,” says Schreijer. “Although the European curlew population is still half a million birds, the numbers of nesting curlews in our country have already fallen by forty percent between 1990 and 2015. It is not for nothing that the bird is on the red list. ”The European Commission stated earlier that hunting for a species of bird should not be reopened if the species in question decreases in number. That is the case with curlew and black-tailed godwit.
Schreijer-Pierik emphasizes that there are no legitimate reasons like combating damage or a credible bird recovery plan in the case of France. That is why the CDA politician is once again asking for sanctions by the European Commission against the French curlew hunting. Infringement proceedings may force France to comply with EU bird legislation.
Schreijer wants the European Commissioner to make clear which side he is on: “Or can big France as the only country in the EU continue to get away with this type of practice?”. Destroying what Dutch, Belgian and other European farmers, agricultural nature associations, bird protectors and governments do for the curlew, warns the MEP. “It involves millions of euros in national and European subsidies for meadow bird management. Or will the European Commission again claim that the decline of the European curlew is the fault of agriculture?”
Part of the reason of decline of farmland birds, along with hunting, is indeed unsustainable Big Business industrial agriculture. Ever since the 1950s, the European Union and its predecessors have stimulated replacing small scale sustainable farming with unsustainable Big Business farming.
The current reform proposals of the EU Commission on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are unlikely to improve environmental protection, say researchers. While the EU has committed to greater sustainability, this is not reflected in the CAP reform proposal: here.