Tracking sociable lapwing in Eritrea: Conservation beyond the breeding grounds

Russom Teklay Tewelde

Sociable lapwing is designated as Critically Endangered (IUCN 2008) with populations still declining for reasons not entirely clear. The breeding population remains confined to Kazakhstan. Most birds apparently migrate south-west to winter in East Africa (possibly Sudan and Eritrea). Protection status in the breeding site is relatively good yet Sociable lapwings are severely threatened on migration. One factor that influences this is the conversion of natural habitat into arable land. Moreover, hunting, which is common practice in the Middle East, is a major threat. There is currently no information from the wintering grounds. This project aims to track and monitor sociable lapwings beyond their breeding grounds. The project outcome will be used to increase knowledge of sociable lapwings at all levels to complete the information gap in the life cycle of the birds and inform decision makers to influence future legislation in the wintering grounds. Furthermore, the project will build up collaborations between local communities, NGOs, educational institutions and governmental agencies towards the survival of the species.