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Current Size: 76%

Sociable Lapwing

The Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius) is a critically endangered migratory species which has undergone a rapid decline from 5000 to 500 breeding pairs in only around 15-20 years. The decline is still ongoing. Sociable Lapwings currently breed in very few restricted areas of the Kazakh steppes and in the central part of southern Russia. On migration they are found in a large range of countries of Middle, Central and Southern Asia. Wintering occurs in Eritrea, India, Iraq, Israel, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and possibly Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.

Increases in nest trampling, nest predation, human disturbance, changes in agricultural practices and intensive grazing of nesting habitats in the breeding areas may be the possible causes of declines in reproductive success. While suitable wintering sites are still widely available and legislation protects the Sociable Lapwing in most of the range states, it is becoming clear that additional threats – such as illegal hunting – also affect the species during migration and at wintering sites.

In order to halt the decline of the Sociable Lapwing across its range, international cooperation is critical. To this end, a revised International Single Species Action Plan for the Conservation of the Sociable Lapwing was adopted in 2012. The principal range states for the species coordinate the implementation of the Action Plan within the framework of the inter-governmental AEWA Sociable Lapwing International Working Group.

Male Sociable Lapwing
Doga Dernegi fieldworker surveying for Sociable Lapwing
Livestock grazing is critical for the survival of Sociable Lapwing