Home News Community Public help sought to protect threatened Lapwing birds

Public help sought to protect threatened Lapwing birds

BirdWatch Ireland’s Project Lapwing is calling for the public and farmers to help collect breeding Lapwing records from around the county.

If you know of Lapwing nesting in your area, they want to know about them.

The survey, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, will be collecting observations of breeding Lapwing from around the entire country.

The Lapwing which is sometimes called the Peewit or Green Plover is in trouble in Ireland suffering huge declines in their breeding numbers over the past number of decades.

Declines in breeding Lapwing mirror those experienced by other ground nesting species such as the Curlew who’s dwindling status has been well documented.

The most recent nationwide study: Bird Atlas 2007-11, reported a 53% decrease in its breeding range in Ireland in the last 40 years whilst numbers at previous strongholds such as the Shannon Callows have declined by more than 80% in recent decades.

Project Lapwing coordinator Ricky Whelan said: “It’s possible to see huge Lapwing flocks in winter time in Ireland, which gives a false impression of their numbers. In fact, breeding pairs are scarce which is cause for real concern.”

Whelan added, “Lapwing however, are still relatively widespread so we have an opportunity to intervene before they are at the brink of breeding extinction in Ireland such as where Curlew have found themselves in recent years.”

As a result of these serious and ongoing declines, the Lapwing is now red-listed on the Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland list and has been highlighted as a conservation priority in the Government’s Prioritised Action Framework 2014-2020.

BirdWatch Ireland are appealing for your records of breeding Lapwing this spring and summer. This will help build a more accurate and updated picture of breeding Lapwing numbers and distribution in Ireland and give further insight into the types of farmland habitats in which Lapwings are nesting.

To take part and start submitting records follow the link to the National Biodiversity Data Centre survey page here.

BirdWatch Ireland are running a free Project Lapwing workshop at Lough Boora, Co.Offaly on Tuesday, April 16. This morning workshop aims to get attendees familiar with Lapwing, their ecology and breeding behaviour.

For more information email rwhelan@birdwatchireland.ie.

BirdWatch Ireland is Ireland’s largest nature conservation organisation, with 15,000 members and 27 branches nationwide.

Its work is science-based and focused on the protection of birds, their habitats and other biodiversity. More information on the organisation can be found at http://www.birdwatchireland.ie.

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