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Crowned Lapwing Vanellus coronatus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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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.

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 overall population trend is increasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Behaviour This species is not strongly migratory but does make local dispersive movements related to habitat changes (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). It moves during the dry season to areas of recent brush fires to breed (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and departs again for drier areas after breeding (Hayman et al. 1986) during the rainy season when the grass becomes too high (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species breeds semi-colonially and occurs in loosely associated wide-ranging flocks of 10-40 individuals outside of the breeding season (occasionally up to 100-150 especially just after breeding season) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species may also form large communal roosting flocks (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat It inhabits dry, open, treeless or sparsely wooded habitats, and shows a strong preference for nesting amongst newly sprouted grass on recently burnt grasslands (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). It also frequents pastures, Accacia spp. (Urban et al. 1986) short grass savanna (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), open patches in bushveld or thornbush (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), mopane Colophospermum spp. shrublands (Urban et al. 1986), cultivated land, fallow fields and artificial grasslands (del Hoyo et al. 1996), avoiding areas where the grass greater than 60 mm tall (Hockey et al. 2005). The species will tolerate desert conditions (Urban et al. 1986) and is occasionally observed on sand-dunes (del Hoyo et al. 1996), and although it generally avoids moist ground it may form communal daytime roosts near the edges of or on islands in lakes and rivers (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet Its diet consists of adult and larval insects (e.g. termites, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets and ants) and earthworms (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a scrape or depression in the ground placed amongst newly sprouted grass on recently burnt grasslands, often close to trees that provide shade (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species nests semi-colonially, with neighbouring pairs usually spaced between 25 and 50 m part (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.

Hockey, P. A. R.; Dean, W. R. J.; Ryan, P. G. 2005. Roberts birds of southern Africa. Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town, South Africa.

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 coronatus. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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 (Boddaert, 1783)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 6,790,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change