Numbers of the bird increased in 2013 and last year, but new figures show that the numbers have this year dropped
17:08, 9 NOV 2015
BY GORDON DEEGAN
The battle to save the Corncrake from national extinction has suffered a reversal with the disappearance of the bird from former stronghold, the Shannon Callows.
The State has spent €338,032 during the first ten months of this year on having in place protection measures to maintain and increase the population of the 'iconic' bird.
Numbers of the bird increased in 2013 and last year to record levels to 230 calling males, but new figures from the Dept of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht show that the numbers have this year dropped nationally by 20% to 183 calling males.
The annual census of the Corncrake had detected one calling male in the Shannon Callows in 2014 but there was no sign of any Corncrakes in the Callows this Summer.
The bird has also disappeared from Co Sligo, North Mayo Mainland and Achill Island and Connemara since last year.
On the disappearance of the Corncrake from the Shannon Callows, Western Division Manger with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Denis Strong said today: “It is the end of an era really. It is the first time that we haven’t recorded a Corncrake in the Shannon Callows since we commenced our annual count.”