Vanellus spinosus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Vanellus spinosus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Spur-winged Lapwing, Spur-winged Plover
French Vanneau éperonné
Hoplopterus spinosus AERC TAC (2003)
Hoplopterus spinosus spinosus Cramp and Simmons (1977-1994)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Benin; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Cyprus; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Gambia; Ghana; Greece; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Jordan; Kenya; Lebanon; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Niger; Nigeria; Oman; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Rwanda; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Sudan; Sudan; Syrian Arab Republic; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Turkey; Uganda; Yemen
Angola (Angola); Bahrain; Belgium; Bulgaria; Cape Verde; Croatia; Czech Republic; Gabon; Germany; Hungary; Italy; Kuwait; Liberia; Malta; Montenegro; Qatar; Romania; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Spain; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; Zambia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population Trend: Increasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Behaviour African breeding populations are largely sedentary (Hayman et al. 1986) but may make irregular local movements (e.g. to drier areas during the rains) although it does not appear to be very sensitive to seasonal changes in water-level (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeders in the eastern Mediterranean region are fully migratory however and disperse south to Africa for the winter (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species nests from March to September in West Africa and in the eastern Mediterranean region (Hayman et al. 1986), the timing of breeding varying geographically elsewhere (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It nests in solitary pairs or loose colonies and outside of the breeding season flocks of up to 15 (occasionally up to 200) individuals may occur (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat The species frequents dry ground (del Hoyo et al. 1996) close to fresh or saline (Hayman et al. 1986)pools, lakes, rivers, lagoons (del Hoyo et al. 1996) or marshes (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996) as well as burnt grassland, cultivated, flooded or irrigated fields (Hayman et al. 1986) (e.g. rice-paddies) (del Hoyo et al. 1996), saltflats by alkaline lakes (Urban et al. 1986), mudflats, sandflats, beaches, dunes (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and coastal saltpans (Hayman et al. 1986). Diet Its diet consists predominantly of adult and larval insects (e.g. beetles, grasshoppers, Diptera, midges, termites and ants) (del Hoyo et al. 1996) as well as spiders (del Hoyo et al. 1996), centipedes, millipedes (Urban et al. 1986) and occasionally crustaceans, molluscs, small lizards, tadpoles, adult frogs, fish and seeds (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is placed in a shallow natural depressions in rock (del Hoyo et al. 1996) or is a shallow scrape on dry bare ground (del Hoyo et al. 1996) or on mudflats (Urban et al. 1986).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species has suffered from past declines as a result of the loss of natural and semi-natural saltmarsh habitats (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Utilisation The species is locally exposed to hunting pressures (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Vanellus spinosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 03 September 2015.
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