Sociable Lapwing: Ornithologists “hit jackpot”
Previous estimates placed the global population of this Critically Endangered species at between 400 and 1500 individuals.
However the expedition team reported seeing over 1200 birds in one day and over 1500 in total during the trip, all within a few grassland sites in Northern Syria.
The finding gives tremendous encouragement to conservationists working to save the bird across Central Asia (where it is a summer resident) and the Middle East (where the bird winters).
“It’s a finding that every ornithologist dreams of when starting out on an expedition like this.” said Remco Hofland, a Dutch ornithologist who led the Syrian Sociable Lapwing Team, made up of Dutch and Syrian birdwatchers.
See also here.
Thanks to a single satellite tag, a 3,000-strong flock of Sociable Lapwing has been discovered in Turkey – the largest seen for more than 100 years: here.
Sociable Lapwings tracked to Sudan: here.