State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Vanellus vanellus (Linnaeus, 1758)

  • Tringa vanellus Linnaeus, 1758
Vernacular Name
Northern Lapwing, Lapwing
Conservation status
Value of species
A European management plan was published in 2009 (Petersen 2009).
The species breeds from Europe, Turkey and north-west Iran through western Russia and Kazakhstan to southern and eastern Siberia, Mongolia and northern China. It winters from western Europe, the east Atlantic islands and North Africa through the Mediterranean, Middle East and Iran across northern India to south-east China, the Korean peninsula and southern Japan (Wiersma and Sharpe 2015). The global population is estimated to number c. 5,600,000-10,500,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2012). The European population is estimated at 1,590,000-2,580,000 pairs, which equates to 3,190,000-5,170,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Trend Justification: The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2015). In Europe, trends since 1980 show that populations have undergone a moderate decline (p<0.01), based on provisional data for 21 countries from the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (EBCC/RSPB/BirdLife/Statistics Netherlands; P. Vorisek in litt. 2008); this is supported by recent data from Europe, suggesting the European population is decreasing by 30-49% in 27 years (three generations) (BirdLife International 2015). A strong decline is also reported for the European and western Asian population between 1988 and 2012, based on annual mid-winter counts (Nagy et al. 2014). No recent trend data is available for the two other flyway populations (breeding in southern Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and northern China and wintering in southern and eastern Asia; Wetlands International 2015). The species shows a preference for breeding on wet natural grasslands (Trolliet 2003), meadows and hay meadows (del Hoyo et al. 1996) with short swards (Hayman et al. 1986, Devereux et al. 2004) and patches of bare soil (Johnsgard 1981) at low altitudes (Hayman et al. 1986) (less than 1,000 m) (Snow and Perrins 1998). It will also breed on grassy moors, swampy heaths, bogs and arable fields (Johnsgard 1981, del Hoyo et al. 1996). The nest is a shallow scrape in short grass vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 1996). During the winter the species utilises large open pastures for roosting (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and forages on damp grassland, irrigated land (Urban et al. 1986), stubble and ploughed fields (del Hoyo et al. 1996), riverbanks, lake shores, fresh and saline marshes, drainage ditches, estuaries and mudflats (Africa) (Urban et al. 1986). Its diet consists of adult and larval insects (e.g. beetles, ants, Diptera, crickets, grasshoppers, dragonflies, mayflies, cicadas and Lepidoptera), spiders, snails, earthworms, frogs, small fish (Africa) and seeds or other plant material (Africa) (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Most populations of this species are fully migratory and travel on a broad front out of Europe although some breeding populations in more temperate regions are sedentary (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). The species breeds from April to July (Hayman et al. 1986) in solitary pairs (del Hoyo et al. 1996) although pairs may also nest close together in optimal habitat (Johnsgard 1981, Trolliet 2003).
Book reference
  • Котенко Т.И., Ардамацкая Т.Б., Дубина Д.В. и др. Биоразнообразие Джарылгача: современное состояние и пути сохранения // Вісник зоології. – 2000. – Спец. випуск. – 240 с.
  • Літопис природи. Природний заповідник «Медобори». 2018, т.26. – Гримайлів, 2019. – 509 с.
  • Літопис природи. Природний заповідник «Розточчя». 2018, т.32. – Івано-Франкове, 2019. – 000 с.
  • Проект організації території Чорноморського біосферного заповідника НАН України та охорони його природних комплексів. Ч. 1. К.- 2016. 300 с.
  • Роговий Ю.Ф. Знахідки закільцьованих птахів. Чайка (Vanellus vanellus) // Беркут. – 1995. – Т.4, вип.1-2. – С.61.
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Taxonomic branch