Projects to save rare birds have been put on hold because of lockdown restrictions as environmental charities warn the financial burden may damage their long-term viability.
A project to rescue dozens of curlew eggs from airfields and other sites and release the chicks into the wild is one of several conservation projects that have been halted by travel restrictions under the lockdown.
The eggs will instead be destroyed, setting back conservation efforts for the bird, which is red-listed in the UK with just 250-300 pairs.
“It will make a big difference to miss a year for a population that is rapidly declining,” said James Robinson, the director of conservation of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.
The WWT hopes to expand the programme for an extra year, but will need extra funding to do so.
Another project to save the black-tailed godwit, of which there are only up to 57 pairs in the UK, will also be put on hold.