Northern Ireland

Police increasing patrols to prevent disturbance to curlews

A curlew at Muckinish. The RSPB has said curlews and corncrakes are now at risk of extinction across Ireland. Picture by Amy Burns
A curlew at Muckinish. The RSPB has said curlews and corncrakes are now at risk of extinction across Ireland. Picture by Amy Burns A curlew at Muckinish. The RSPB has said curlews and corncrakes are now at risk of extinction across Ireland. Picture by Amy Burns

POLICE are increasing patrols in parts of Co Fermanagh in response to reports of disturbances to ground nesting birds - including breeds at risk of extinction.

The long-term decline in curlew numbers in Ireland is a major concern of conservationists.

The PSNI said it was being told of disturbances to ground nesting birds in the Inishmore-Lusty Beg area of Upper Lough Erne.

This has included the trespassing of dogs on private land, with evidence of suspected criminal damage to fencing.

It said partners met recently to discuss said issue and local police are continuing to monitor these incidents with increased patrols in the area.

"Police take all wildlife crime extremely seriously and are committed to equipping our officers with the skills, knowledge, support and guidance to appropriately deal with and investigate all instances of wildlife crime which are reported to police," a spokeswoman said.

"We work extensively with a number of partner organisations to address the issue of disturbance to ground nesting birds on an ongoing basis, and our officers can investigate and if required, seek the advice, support and assistance from the PSNI wildlife office.

"Police urge anyone with information relating to disturbance of ground nesting birds, to report this."