Photo above: Male Sociable Lapwing, as it should be seen, on the breeding grounds of Kazakhstan
OSME have been supporting Sociable Lapwing work across the region for a number of years, so it is with great sadness we are hearing reports of 3 individuals being killed in Kuwait, apparently for ‘fun’. The key threat to Sociable Lapwings is the hunting of birds at stopover sites whilst on migration. There is evidence from known stopover sites in north-eastern Syria and some areas in Iraq from 2008 and 2009 that Sociable Lapwings are widely hunted by local hunters and visiting falconers from the Gulf States. Regretably, this is the first confirmed hunting of Sociable Lapwings in Kuwait. Hunting on spring migration is of particular concern as these are birds returning to the breeding grounds in Kazakhstan.
Photo above: Sociable Lapwings recently shot in Kuwait
We know from extensive research between 2004 – 2012 that Sociable Lapwings are declining due to low adult survival, which is almost certainly due to hunting on migration. By improving adult survival by 30% could see a stabilization of the current population trend. Countries such as Kuwait could play a crucial role in halting the decline of this critically endangered species by implementing and enforcing hunting legislation.