Since 2012, the State has spent over €2.4m in various initiatives to save the corncrake
18:17, 30 JAN 2018
The corncrake could one day be as dead a dodo in Ireland if male birds continue to disappear, new figures reveal.
The State bid to save the corncrake from national extinction suffered a further blow in 2017 with the numbers of calling males decreasing to 140.
The number of corncrakes, known for their rasping calls, fell by 39% between 2014 and last year.
A 2017 bird census found that there were 140 calling males - a drop of 16.6% on the 168 calling males recorded here in 2016.
The population of the bird declined from 230 calling males in 2014 to 183 in 2015.
The elusive bird was once widespread across the countryside but the population was decimated by mechanised farming.
It is now confined mainly to Donegal, Mayo and Connemara and the continuing drop comes as the State devotes even more resources to maintaining a population of the bird here.