About the project

Bush stone-curlew – in safe hands

Since 2000 NCWG has worked on conserving bush stone-curlews in southern New South Wales and beyond.

NCWG were the first organisation to successfully reintroduce young captive-bred bush stone-curlews to supplement declining wild populations. A total of 85 young bush stone-curlews have been released in 8 annual releases at two locations in southern NSW between 2008 and 2015.

In addition the group has provided expert advice, and managed sourcing of captive-bred bush stone-curlews for a further 5 releases across NSW, South Australia, Victoria and ACT, supporting a further 50 curlews to be released into the wild.

Surveys have shown that the releases of young bush stone-curlews has successfully increased the size of local populations of curlews. Breeding of released birds has been recorded at both release sites, with regular successful breeding recorded at the Moulamein site.

NCWG has conducted a captive breeding program since 2002, with facilities at Moulamein and Jindera. Neville and Jan Lubke continue to breed bush stone-curlews at Jindera, and also partners with zoos and fauna parks who support bush stone-curlew conservation by breeding bush stone-curlews and contributing them to release programs.

As well as the breeding and release program NCWG has raised the profile of bush stone-curlews in southern Australia through a long-term education program, which has included development of a range of educational materials, field day displays and regularly speaking at a wide range of events. NCWG has been involved in the hosting of 4 Curlew Summits, bringing together practitioners, researchers and landholders working on curlew conservation from across the country. NCWG has also delivered a range of on-ground works for curlew conservation. This has included large-scale, intensive fox baiting programs, encouraging fellow farmers to implement important on-ground works such as predator proof fencing and the preservation and restoration of their remnant areas of grassy box woodlands.

The bush stone-curlew population in many areas of southern Australia is now much healthier and likely to survive into the future, thanks to the success of this project.