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Long-Billed Curlew Initiative

CurlewFlight_MartinkaThe Long-billed Curlew is an icon of the Great Plains and America’s intermountain grassland basins. It is a relatively large, conspicuous shorebird endemic in short to moderate height prairie. The Long-billed Curlew is a Montana Species of Conservation Concern, and the Montana Bird Conservation Partnership (MBCP) has identified the curlew as a flagship species, or one that is likely to resonate with the public and thus garner support for conservation action. It is declining across its range, but in Montana, healthy populations remain. We’re working with many partners to learn more about Curlews and protect the grasslands and agricultural lands they need to for breeding. Based on curlew presence, threats, and opportunities, we’ve determined the Mission Valley, Helena Valley, Blackfoot Valley, and nearby grasslands are an ideal focal area for our partnership.

One aspect of this initiative includes citizen-based Long-billed curlew monitoring. Since 2014, citizens have helped document hundreds of curlew sightings in and around Montana’s intermountain valleys.


Curlews in the Mission Valley and Surrounding Grasslands

The Flathead Indian Reservation and surrounding prairies and agricultural lands host good numbers of Long-billed Curlews. We’re hoping you can help us learn more and conserve this species and its habitat. We began this effort in 2014, and a report of our findings is here.

Mission Valley monitoring reports: 2017,2016, 2015, 2014

Website for Mission Valley volunteers and surveyors.


For Professionals working in the field:  

Curlew habitat management information

For more information or to help contact Amy Seaman: [email protected] or 406.443.3949. You may also contact Janene Lichtenberg:  [email protected]

Funding for this project has been provided by the Intermountain West Joint Venture, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montana Audubon, and in-kind support from many dedicated partners.

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