Lapwing wintering in Co Roscommon

Lapwing Vanellus vanellus (or Peewit) is a red-listed species of conservation concern. The Irish population includes residents, summer visitors from France and Iberia, and winter visitors from western & central Europe). There is some overlap between all three groups, and the greatest numbers occur in Ireland between September & April (Source Birdwatch Ireland). The wintering distribution in Ireland is widespread. Large flocks regularly recorded in a variety of habitats, including most of the major wetlands, pasture and rough land adjacent to bogs. These are photos of lapwing from the South Roscommon Wetlands area of Ireland, taken during February 2013.

Lapwings are very adaptable birds and nest on wet grassland, upland moors or arable land. However, despite their adaptability there has been a severe decline in this species since the 1970s in both the UK and Ireland. The issue is recruitment, and land use changes and climate change (i.e. wetter summers) have been implicated in the decline.

It is possible to halt and reverse the decline in lapwing numbers with sympathetic farming methods, which include creation of a mosaic of spring sown crops and grassland, managing grazing pressure and maintaining damp areas on unimproved grassland. Agri-environment schemes can be used to help land-owners manage their land to help lapwings, according to the RSPB.

Bird Survey Lapwing (1) Bird Surveys in Ireland (3) Bird Surveys in Ireland (3b) Bird Surveys in Ireland (3c) Bird Surveys in Ireland (4) Bird Surveys in Ireland (5) Bird Surveys in Ireland (6) Bird Surveys in Ireland (7) Bird Surveys in Ireland (8) Bird Surveys in Ireland (9) Bird Surveys in Ireland (10) Bird Surveys in Ireland (11) Bird Surveys in Ireland (12) Bird Surveys in Ireland (13)

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