This summer, scientists from ACBK (BirdLife in Kazakhstan) have been monitoring Sociable Lapwings again at their main study site in central Kazakhstan for the seventh year of a long term research project supported by RSPB, BirdLife International, Swarovski Optik and The UK Governments’ Darwin Initiative.
Each spring since April 2009, Nature Iraq has conducted ornithological survey expeditions in and around the vast arid western and central deserts of Iraq, hoping to find Sociable Lapwings that might be passing through the country on their northerly migration back to Kazakhstan.
An important step for the future conservation of Sociable Lapwing will be made later today in La Rochelle, France, when the new International Species Action Plan for its conservation is presented for adoption at the Africa Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) Meeting of Parties that is taking place there this week.
During the current Syrian Uprising, travelling even short distances around the country has become very difficult and is in most cases extremely dangerous. Vehicles are subject to frequent spot checks by security forces and, with tensions running high, travel is heavily curtailed.
Birders following The Amazing Journey have sent us several recent reports confirming that Sociable Lapwings are now on the move again and have started their long migrations back from their wintering grounds.
Last September, four Sociable Lapwings left Kazakhstan to begin their migrations fitted with working satellite transmitters but shortly afterwards we unfortunately stopped receiving any transmissions. We are however, pleased to now be able to report on a number of sightings we have recently received that confirm the presence of Sociable Lapwings in most of their regular wintering areas.
In addition to the eyewitness reports we’ve received confirming Sociable Lapwing migration is now well underway; Abaj, Dina and Dana, three of the four birds we are satellite-tracking this autumn, have also begun their post-breeding migrations.
BirdLife International scientists monitoring migrating Sociable Lapwings in the heart of the Great Steppe have recently discovered the largest single flock seen in Kazakhstan since 1939.
A positive signal from Abaj received in a transmission made on April 14th confirms he has now made it safely back to his breeding grounds in central Kazakhstan, just north-west of Lake Tengiz.