Modest rise in corncrake numbers but miracle needed

Modest rise in corncrake numbers but miracle needed

It is hard not to cheer the news that a modest increase in the population of calling, male corncrakes was recorded last summer even if that small reversal was a consequence of climate change and last year’s exceptionally — for now at least — warm summer.

The Corncrake Project Annual Report shows 151 calling males were recorded, an increase of 8%, the first since 2014. Donegal and its islands held 90, significantly 59 on islands. Another 39 were recorded in Mayo, 20 in Connemara and a lonely two in Sligo. 

Sadly, none were recorded in the Shannon callows, once a species stronghold, for the fourth year. Like that river’s once-great run of portmanteau salmon, Shannon corncrakes have succumbed to progress.

Our corncrakes are still in a precarious position, painted into an ever-tighter corner of this island. Their survival, much less their restoration, would be a miracle. 

That tragedy offers many lessons but one of the most important is that we usually wait far too long before we intervene to try to sustain struggling species.

More on this topic

'We were shaking, in awe': Father and son recount close encounter with humpback whales in Kerry'We were shaking, in awe': Father and son recount close encounter with humpback whales in Kerry

Green welcome for Fianna Fáil’s wild proposalGreen welcome for Fianna Fáil’s wild proposal

Going wild with animal-centred summer days outGoing wild with animal-centred summer days out

Extinct flightless bird ‘comes back to life after evolving for second time’Extinct flightless bird ‘comes back to life after evolving for second time’

More in this Section

Moon visit a step in race for our survivalMoon visit a step in race for our survival

China’s largesse is its road to dominationChina’s largesse is its road to domination

Letter to the Editor: Our Defence Forces need to be treated with more respectLetter to the Editor: Our Defence Forces need to be treated with more respect

Election delays get Martin’s voteElection delays get Martin’s vote


Lifestyle

Celebrate the anniversary by finding lift off without even leaving the earth, at these stateside visitor centres and museums, says Sarah Marshall.America’s top space-age attractions to celebrate 50 years since the moon landing

These handy product edits are so useful for travelling, says Katie Wright.Palettes pack a punch: The travel must have

To mark the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth, a new exhibition charts the story of the feminist monarch. Suzanne Harrington meets the curator at Buckingham Palace ILifting the lid on the real Queen Victoria this summer

It’s not easy for busy new mothers to eat well, but following a few guidelines and avoiding extreme diets can go a long way, writes dietitian Aoife Hearne.Operation Transformation dietitian Aoife Hearne on keeping thing simple post pregnancy

More From The Irish Examiner