Vanellus vanellus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Charadriiformes Charadriidae

Scientific Name: Vanellus vanellus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Northern Lapwing, Lapwing
French Vanneau huppé
Taxonomic Source(s): Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Identification information: 28-31 cm.  Metallic glossy green upperparts with blackish crest and bronze scapulars.  Very broad wings.  Non-breeding adult with buff face, white chin and throat, upperwing-coverts and scapulars have buff fringes.  Juvenile similar to non-breeding adult (Wiersma and Sharp 2015).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Chan, S., Mischenko, A.L., Stroud, D., Trolliet, B., Singh, R.K.B., Perlman, Y., Vogrin, M., Sorrenti, M., Choudhury, U., Verkuil, Y., Petkov, N., Raudonikis, L. & Fefelov, I.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Harding, M., Malpas, L., Wright, L, Pople, R., Burfield, I., Ashpole, J, Ieronymidou, C., Wheatley, H., Westrip, J., Martin, R
This species is suspected to be decreasing at a moderately rapid rate.  It is therefore classified as Near Threatened.  Should new information suggest these declines are occurring more rapidly it would warrant uplisting; it almost meets the requirements for listing as threatened under criteria A2abce+3bce+4abce.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species breeds from Europe, Turkey and north-west Iran through western Russia and Kazakhstan to southern and eastern Siberia, Mongolia and northern China.  It winters from western Europe, the east Atlantic islands and North Africa through the Mediterranean, Middle East and Iran across northern India to south-east China, the Korean peninsula and southern Japan (Wiersma and Sharpe 2015).
Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Belarus; Belgium; Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Egypt; Estonia; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Hong Kong; Hungary; Iceland; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Latvia; Lebanon; Libya; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Mauritania; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Myanmar; Nepal; Netherlands; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia, Eastern Asian Russia, European Russia); Saudi Arabia; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; Uzbekistan; Viet Nam
Antigua and Barbuda; Bahamas; Barbados; Bermuda; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Cape Verde; Dominica; Gambia; Greenland; Guadeloupe; Kenya; Martinique; Montserrat; Puerto Rico; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Senegal; Sudan; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Tajikistan; Turks and Caicos Islands; United States; Yemen
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:31900000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population is estimated to number c. 5,600,000-10,500,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2012).  The European population is estimated at 1,590,000-2,580,000 pairs, which equates to 3,190,000-5,170,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend Justification:  The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2015).  In Europe, trends since 1980 show that populations have undergone a moderate decline (p<0.01), based on provisional data for 21 countries from the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (EBCC/RSPB/BirdLife/Statistics Netherlands; P. Vorisek in litt. 2008); this is supported by recent data from Europe, suggesting the European population is decreasing by 30-49% in 27 years (three generations) (BirdLife International 2015).  A strong decline is also reported for the European and western Asian population between 1988 and 2012, based on annual mid-winter counts (Nagy et al. 2014).  No recent trend data is available for the two other flyway populations (breeding in southern Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and northern China and wintering in southern and eastern Asia [Wetlands International 2015]).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species shows a preference for breeding on wet natural grasslands (Trolliet 2003), meadows and hay meadows (del Hoyo et al. 1996) with short swards (Hayman et al. 1986, Devereux et al. 2004) and patches of bare soil (Johnsgard 1981) at low altitudes (Hayman et al. 1986) (less than 1,000 m) (Snow and Perrins 1998).  It will also breed on grassy moors, swampy heaths, bogs and arable fields (Johnsgard 1981, del Hoyo et al. 1996).  The nest is a shallow scrape in short grass vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 1996).  During the winter the species utilises large open pastures for roosting (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and forages on damp grassland, irrigated land (Urban et al. 1986), stubble and ploughed fields (del Hoyo et al. 1996), riverbanks, lake shores, fresh and saline marshes, drainage ditches, estuaries and mudflats (Africa) (Urban et al. 1986).  Its diet consists of adult and larval insects (e.g. beetles, ants, Diptera, crickets, grasshoppers, dragonflies, mayflies, cicadas and Lepidoptera), spiders, snails, earthworms, frogs, small fish (Africa) and seeds or other plant material (Africa) (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996).  Most populations of this species are fully migratory and travel on a broad front out of Europe although some breeding populations in more temperate regions are sedentary (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998).  The species breeds from April to July (Hayman et al. 1986) in solitary pairs (del Hoyo et al. 1996) although pairs may also nest close together in optimal habitat (Johnsgard 1981, Trolliet 2003).
Systems:Terrestrial; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):9
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species suffered past declines as a result of land-use intensification, wetland drainage and egg collecting (del Hoyo et al. 1996).  Land-use intensification remains a problem: today it is threatened by reduced breeding productivity as a result of intensifying and changing agricultural practices (del Hoyo et al. 1996), especially the improvement of grasslands (e.g. by drainage, application of inorganic fertilizers and reseeding) (Baldi et al. 2005), increased growing of "winter-crops" (see Eggers et al. 2011), and loss of field margins and semi-natural habitat.  Important migratory stop-over habitats for this species on the Baltic Sea coastline are threatened by petroleum pollution, wetland drainage for irrigation, land abandonment and changing land management practices leading to scrub overgrowth (Grishanov 2006).  Clutch destruction may also occur during spring cultivation (using machinery) on arable fields (del Hoyo et al. 1996).  The species is susceptible to avian botulism so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the disease (Hubalek et al. 2005), and may suffer from predation and nest predation by native and introduced predators (e.g. European Hedgehog Erinaceus europeaus on some islands [Jackson 2001], corvids, herons, gulls, foxes [M. Sorrenti in litt. 2016]).  The species is hunted for commercial use (to be sold as food) and for recreational purposes in Iran (Balmaki and Barati 2006), and is hunted in France, Greece, Italy and Spain (Trolliet 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation and Research Actions Underway
CMS Appendix II. EU Birds Directive Annex II.  Bern Convention Annex III.  Management of habitat for this species occurs in several European countries and agro-environment schemes are in place in France, the Netherlands and the U.K. (Petersen 2009) although they have been shown to not always be effective (Breeuwer et al. 2009).  A European management plan was published in 2009 (Petersen 2009), and a management plan for meadow birds is underway (M. Sorrenti in litt. 2016).

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Ensure incentives are in place for landowners to restore and manage suitable habitat as well as reduce pesticide use.  Continue research to find the most appropriate land management practices fro this, and other species (e.g. Chiron et al. 2010, Eggers et al. 2011, Peach et al. 2011, MacDonald et al. 2012).  Reduce hunting pressure, record reliable bag statistics and create awareness campaigns, targeted at hunters, about the decline of this species.  Develop management schemes to reduce predation as well as monitoring and research programmes to inform conservation measures (Petersen 2009).

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Edited Threats and Conservation Actions Information text, as well as seasonality of occurrence in Italy. Added an extra threat, and an extra line in Actions Needed. Also edited the references and added a new Facilitator/Compiler.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Vanellus vanellus (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22693949A111044786. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided