International Single Species Action Planfor the Conservation of theSociable Lapwing

Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius) Science Article 1


The Sociable Lapwing breeds currently in Kazakhstan and central part of southern (further ‘southcentral’)Russia. Its breeding range includes northern and central Kazakhstan, and in Russiaextends currently from the Orenburg region, across Chelyabinsk, Kurgan, Omsk and Novosibirskregions to the area around Barnaul in the Altai. Within this area the species is very much scattered,numbers are low and declining. On migration Sociable Lapwings are found in a large range ofcountries of Middle, Central and Southern Asia (Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Iran,Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United ArabEmirates, Uzbekistan). Countries of primary importance for wintering are Eritrea, India, Iraq,Israel, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and still possibly Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan. Vagrant birds havealso been recorded in a wide range of Asiatic and European countries. The population hasundergone significant and rapid decline in the second half of the 20th century, and this is consideredongoing. Population size was recently estimated at not more than 10,000 adult individuals (a ratheroptimistic estimate in Collar et al. 1994, Tucker & Heath 1994), or fewer. A few years later it wasconsidered that the population numbers not more than 1,000 breeding pairs in the total range of thespecies (Khrokov 2000, BirdLife International 2001). Estimates made during the Sociable LapwingWorkshop in Moscow in 2002 (Appendix I) suggest that the situation is far worse: the worldpopulation is estimated at 200-600 breeding pairs (ca. 600-1,800 birds). The Sociable Lapwing islisted in Appendix I and II of the Bonn Convention, in column A category 1a, 1b and 1c of Table 1of aeWA, in the IUCN Red List as a globally threatened species in the category ‘CriticallyEndangered’ (BirdLife International 2004). This recent update of the species’ IUCN Red Liststatus resulted from the conclusions of the workshop held in March 2002 in Moscow and from thedrafting of this Action plan. It is included as Vulnerable in the Red Data Book of Asia due to lackof data on the reasons for the population decline. Although included in the Red Data Book of theex-USSR countries, no practical conservation measures have been undertaken so far.

Pavel S. Tomkovich & Elena A. Lebedeva, aeWA Technical Series No. 2

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