At Paradise Park we do all we can to help this elegant bird thrive through our ‘Operation Chough’ project. We funded research showing that it disappeared because of trapping, egg theft, pesticides, and changed agricultural practices. New laws now protect British wildlife, and landowners are encouraged to make Cornwall’s habitat better for choughs (and other wildlife too). Now the birds themselves have proved that they can live and breed here. Volunteers watch the nests to protect them from disturbance, see www.cornishchoughs.org if you have time to help.
Since 2002 choughs living wild in Cornwall have bred every year, but all the offspring are related, which is why we would like to release a few captive-bred birds. Meanwhile, our pairs breed regularly and through our partnership with Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and its ‘Birds on the Edge’ project our choughs are now flying free in Jersey after an absence of 100 years! We have also published papers, co-operated in genetic research, and will make birds available for releases outside Cornwall where choughs could be re-established to support further colonisation.
We have two hand-reared choughs Oggy and Piran, who often appear in our ‘Free Flying Bird Show’.
Cornish Chough was plentiful in Poldark days