During UzSPB’s first official surveys for Sociable Lapwings this autumn they made a remarkable discovery – more than 400 birds present at the Talimarzhan Reservoir.
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.
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.
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.
Omar Fadhil is an ecologist and wildlife photographer working for Nature Iraq.
Delegates attending the inaugural meeting of the Sociable Lapwing International Working Group in Syria, last weekend, received the welcome news that Swarovski Optik will be providing further funding to help their international conservation action.
Conservation scientists and government officials from fourteen countries spanning three continents are meeting in Syria today to plan collaborative conservation action that aims to prevent the extinction of the Critically Endangered Sociable Lapwing.