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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
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
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 Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve site factsheet
Kazakhstan Koybagar-Tyuntyugur Lake System site factsheet
Kazakhstan Kumdykol-Zharlykol Lake System site factsheet
Kazakhstan Uyalyshalkar Lake System site factsheet
Kazakhstan Vicinity of Korgalzhyn village site factsheet
Kazakhstan Zhumay-Mayshukyr Lake System 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:
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:
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 (2014) Species factsheet: Vanellus gregarius. Downloaded from on 13/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 13/07/2014.

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