Indoor Meeting: Project Godwit-Talk by Hannah Ward. Thursday 21st March 2019

Our speaker, Hannah Ward, is the Project Manager of Project Godwit. Hannah has worked at the RSPB for eight years and has worked on a number of species recovery projects. She has provided the following background for what should be a fascinating talk:- Project Godwit is a partnership between the RSPB and WWT which aims to secure the future of breeding Black-tailed Godwits in the UK. With fewer than 50 breeding pairs breeding at just a handful of sites, Godwits are on the brink of extinction as a breeding bird in the UK. Through Project Godwit, we are aiming to turn around their fortunes. The project focuses on two wetlands in the east of England – the Ouse and Nene Washes where conservationists are growing the Black-tailed Godwit population by enhancing habitat, trialling methods to increase productivity and improving our understanding of the birds’ local and migratory movements. We have been using “Headstarting”, an innovative conservation translocation technique, to boost productivity and fast-track the colonisation of newly created habitat. Headstarting involves collecting eggs from the wild, rearing chicks in captivity and releasing them at the point of fledging. This talk will introduce Project Godwit, explain the Headstarting process and why it’s being used, and summarises the successes and challenges of the project to date.

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