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Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered A3bcd+4bcd 
Endangered A2bc+3bcd+4bcd 
Vulnerable A2bc+3bcd+4bcd 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Critically Endangered
2012 Critically Endangered
2010 Critically Endangered
2009 Critically Endangered
2008 Critically Endangered
2006 Critically Endangered
2004 Critically Endangered
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable
1988 Threatened

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type continent
Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 1,500,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 2,980,000 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 11200 medium Estimated 2006
Population trend Decreasing medium -
Number of subpopulations 1 - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 9 - - -
Population justification: Surveys in 2006 in Kazakhstan estimated 376 breeding pairs in an area of 145,000 km2. Extrapolating this population density across the breeding range yields a possible total population size of 5,600 breeding pairs, i.e. 11,200 mature individuals, roughly equivalent to 16,000-17,000 individuals in total; but work is continuing in order to refine this estimate. This total is consistent with record counts of 3,200 individuals in Turkey in October 2007.
Trend justification: It has suffered a very rapid decline and range contraction. In northern Kazakhstan, a decline of 40% during 1930-1960, was followed by a further halving of numbers during 1960-1987. However, recent fieldwork in central Kazakhstan (centred on Korgalzhyn), suggests that the population trend is now stable and possibly starting to increase (e.g. the number of nests in a constant survey area around Korgalzhyn increased from 85 in 2005 to 107 in 2006 and 113 in 2007 (Sheldon et al. 2005, M. A. Koshkin, J. Kamp and R. D. Sheldon in litt. 2007); similarly numbers of nests in a constant area of 10,000 km2 around Pavlodar, north-east Kazakhstan were 67 in 1985, 55 in 1991, and 140 in 2007 (J. Kamp in litt. 2007). It is not known if this is a consistent trend across the species's range however, and a global decline of >50% is still precautionarily inferred for the past 27 years (three generations), with an even steeper decline projected for the next three generations owing to potentially severe threats. Further fieldwork may provide data that leads to revision of these estimates.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Native Extant     Yes  
Armenia Native Extant     Yes  
Austria Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Azerbaijan Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Bahrain Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Belarus Vagrant Extant        
Belgium Vagrant Extant        
Bulgaria Vagrant Extant        
Cameroon Native Possibly Extinct   Yes    
Central African Republic Native Possibly Extinct   Yes    
Chad Native Possibly Extinct   Yes    
China (mainland) Vagrant Extinct        
Cyprus Vagrant Extant        
Czech Republic Vagrant Extant        
Denmark Vagrant Extant        
Egypt Vagrant Extant        
Eritrea Native Possibly Extinct   Yes    
Ethiopia Native Possibly Extinct   Yes    
Finland Vagrant Extant        
France Vagrant Extant        
Georgia Native Extant     Yes  
Germany Vagrant Extant        
Greece Vagrant Extant        
Hungary Vagrant Extant        
India Native Extant   Yes    
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant     Yes  
Iraq Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Ireland Vagrant Extant        
Israel Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Italy Vagrant Extant        
Jordan Native Extant     Yes  
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kuwait Vagrant Extant   Yes Yes  
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant     Yes  
Lebanon Native Extant     Yes  
Luxembourg Vagrant Extant        
Maldives Vagrant Extant        
Malta Vagrant Extant        
Mongolia Vagrant Extant        
Morocco Vagrant Extant        
Netherlands Vagrant Extant        
Nigeria Unknown Possibly Extinct   Yes    
Oman Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Pakistan Native Extant   Yes    
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant     Yes  
Poland Vagrant Extant        
Portugal Vagrant Extant        
Qatar Native Extant     Yes  
Romania Vagrant Extant        
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Saudi Arabia Native Extant     Yes  
Seychelles Vagrant Extant        
Slovakia Vagrant Extant        
Slovenia Vagrant Extant        
Somalia Vagrant Extant        
Spain Vagrant Extant        
Sri Lanka Native Extant   Yes    
Sudan Native Extant   Yes    
Sweden Vagrant Extant        
Switzerland Vagrant Extant        
Syria Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Tajikistan Native Extant     Yes  
Turkey Native Extant     Yes  
Turkmenistan Native Extant     Yes  
Ukraine Vagrant Extinct        
United Arab Emirates Native Extant   Yes Yes  
United Kingdom Vagrant Extant        
Uzbekistan Native Extant     Yes  
Yemen Vagrant Extant   Yes    

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Azerbaijan Lake Hajigabul site factsheet
India Corbett Tiger Reserve site factsheet
India Dihaila Jheel and other wetlands site factsheet
India Flamingo City site factsheet
India Keoladeo National Park and Ajan Bande site factsheet
India Kurra Jheel site factsheet
India Naliya Grassland (Lala Bustard Wildlife Sanctuary) site factsheet
India Okhla Bird Sanctuary site factsheet
India Valmiki Tiger Reserve and Saraiyaman Lake site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Anzali Mordab complex site factsheet
Iraq Samara Wetlands site factsheet
Iraq Shuweicha Marsh site factsheet
Israel Hula valley site factsheet
Israel Jezre'el, Harod and Bet She'an valleys site factsheet
Israel Western Negev site factsheet
Israel Zevulun valley site factsheet
Jordan Irbid - Mafraq plains site factsheet
Kazakhstan Aktubek site factsheet
Kazakhstan Amangeldy site factsheet
Kazakhstan Amankaragay Forest site factsheet
Kazakhstan Chingiztau Mountains site factsheet
Kazakhstan Ertis Ormany (Shaldai Forest) site factsheet
Kazakhstan Irgiz-Turgay Lakes site factsheet
Kazakhstan Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve site factsheet
Kazakhstan Koybagar-Tyuntyugur Lake System site factsheet
Kazakhstan Kulykol-Taldykol Lake System site factsheet
Kazakhstan Kumdykol-Zharlykol Lake System site factsheet
Kazakhstan Lower reaches of the Emba River site factsheet
Kazakhstan Naurzum State Nature Reserve site factsheet
Kazakhstan Sarykopa Lake System site factsheet
Kazakhstan Shoshkaly Lake System site factsheet
Kazakhstan Tounsor Hollow Lakes site factsheet
Kazakhstan Ulytau Mountains site factsheet
Kazakhstan Uyalyshalkar Lake System site factsheet
Kazakhstan Vicinity of Korgalzhyn village site factsheet
Kazakhstan Zharsor-Urkash Salt Lakes site factsheet
Kazakhstan Zhumay-Mayshukyr Lake System site factsheet
Kazakhstan Zhusandala site factsheet
Pakistan Kirthar National Park (including Hub Dam) site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Birsuat site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Blagoveschenskaya (Kulunda lake and vicinity) site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Uzkaya Steppe site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Wetlands of Karasuk town site factsheet
Russia (European) Bulukhta area site factsheet
Russia (European) Krasnoarmeiskiye waste lands site factsheet
Russia (European) Kulaksay lowland site factsheet
Russia (European) Lysyi Liman lake and valley of Vostochniy Manych river site factsheet
Russia (European) Mouth of Samur river site factsheet
Russia (European) Southern part of Chograiski reservoir site factsheet
Russia (European) Stepnovski saltmarshes site factsheet
Syria Buhayrat al-Assad site factsheet
Syria Golan Heights site factsheet
Syria Tual al-'Abba site factsheet
Turkey Ağrı Plain site factsheet
Turkey Bulanık and Malazgirt Plains site factsheet
Turkey Ceylanpınar site factsheet
Turkey İğdır Plain site factsheet
Uzbekistan Dzheiran Ecocentre site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Desert Temperate major non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry major non-breeding
Grassland Temperate major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Lakes suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 300 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching / Nomadic grazing Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching / Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Reduced reproductive success
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Unintentional effects (species is not the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation
Climate change & severe weather Droughts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents / Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Vanellus gregarius. Downloaded from on 09/10/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 09/10/2015.

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 Critically Endangered
Family Charadriidae (Plovers)
Species name author (Pallas, 1771)
Population size 11200 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,500,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment