email a friend
printable version
Senegal Lapwing Vanellus lugubris
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

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 is not known, but the population is not believed to be decreasing sufficiently rapidly to approach the thresholds under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to 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.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Trend justification
The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the extent of threats to the species.

Behaviour This species is an intra-African migrant that may undertake regular seasonal movements or more irregular movements related to the occurrence of brush fires (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Some populations also remain largely sedentary (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It breeds in loosely colonial groups with several pairs scattered over a small area, the timing of breeding varying geographically (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species is gregarious throughout the year (Urban et al. 1986), usually foraging in flocks of 5-10 individuals and migrating in large flocks (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat The species inhabits dry, open habitats (del Hoyo et al. 1996) such as lightly wooded savannas, open grassland with bushes and scrub, patches of burnt grass in Accacia spp. woodland and sparsely vegetated short grassland (Urban et al. 1986). It shows a strong preference for burnt grassland with newly sprouted grass (del Hoyo et al. 1996) especially if this is in the vicinity of water (Hayman et al. 1986). Other habitats frequented include cultivated land, airfields (del Hoyo et al. 1996), pastures (Urban et al. 1986) and the margins of lakes and rivers (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet Its diet consists of adult and larval insects (especially beetles) and other small invertebrates as well as grass seeds (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a scrape or depression positioned on burnt ground with newly sprouting grass, on bare patches in grassland or on ploughed land (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Delany, S.; Scott, D. 2006. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Hayman, P.; Marchant, J.; Prater, A. J. 1986. Shorebirds. Croom Helm, London.

Urban, E. K.; Fry, C. H.; Keith, S. 1986. The birds of Africa vol. II. Academic Press, London.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Vanellus lugubris. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Charadriidae (Plovers)
Species name author (Lesson, 1826)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 3,560,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change