What we do
Image: Nigel Blake
After a long decline because of habitat loss and persecution, the last chough disappeared from Cornwall (and England) in 1973. They had last successfully bred in 1947.
In 2001, there was a small influx of wild choughs to southern England and three birds stayed on the Lizard in Cornwall. Since 2002, the now famous pioneering pair has nested every year at Southerly Point raising a total of 32 young so far. Many survive and some have raised their own young.
Choughs are vulnerable to disturbance and egg collectors. RSPB staff and volunteers protect nests night and day, and closely monitor the expanding population.
Historically, the southwest of the UK, especially Cornwall, was a stronghold for choughs. Their return is a milestone in terms of UK range recovery for this captivating crow.
The Project ensures the future for choughs by working with landowners to restore grassland and heathland habitats along the coastal fringe. Grazing by suitable stock provides a chough-friendly mosaic of open, short grasslands where they can forage for invertebrates.
With choughs from the Gower turning up in north Devon and Somerset, and other Welsh birds visiting Cumbria and Lancashire, it may not be too long before they breed outside Cornwall.
Habitat restoration and maintenance is a priority for chough conservation. The RSPB works with Natural England to target suitable areas for chough management. We provide advice to farmers and landowners to encourage grazing regimes to help chough and other wildlife.
RSPB staff and volunteers run a round-the-clock protection scheme to guard nests from disturbance and persecution, and at Southerly Point this is combined with a daytime 'chough watch point', helping visitors get good views of the birds. We work with local communities and schools to gain support for chough conservation and to secure the future for these iconic red-billed crows.
Management for choughs and coastal biodiversity in Cornwall
A report explaining the need for grazing to maintain habitat for biodiversity and choughs in Cornwall
Date: 21 November 2012
Cornish choughs: Celebrating their return
Our latest booklet, celebrating 10 years of wild choughs breeding again in Cornwall
Date: 15 August 2011
Paloresow Kernewek: Issue 1 - August 2011
The first edition of 'Paloresow Kernewek' (Cornish Choughs), a newsletter about Cornwall's special bird.
Date: 19 August 2011
Claire MucklowCornwall Projects OfficerE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cornwall Chough Project is part of Action for Birds in England, a conservation partnership between Natural England and the RSPB.