Europe's largest wading bird, the curlew Numenius arquata, is facing extinction in Wales. The RSPB now think there could be as few as 576 pairs left. In 2006 the RSPB thought there were about 1,100 pairs left in Wales. Conservation officer Dave Elliott who works with the animals in Hiraethog, Snowdonia, the only place in Wales where they now breed, said: “The rate of decline has been about 50-80% in the last 15 year period. There may not have been any chicks fledged this year. They certainly disappeared from the uplands quicker than I have ever seen".