Saturday 9 October 2010

The Amazing Journey

The Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius has declined considerably in recent years and is now considered Critically Endangered (the highest level of risk for a species). Little was known of their migration and wintering grounds, making it difficult to find out the causes of the decline. A few years ago Birdlife International started a project to track migrating birds using satellite transmitters. It was a surprise to discover that many of these birds were wintering in Sudan!
They now have a website click here that allows visitors to see the current locations of all nine tagged birds. They are currently on their way and should be arriving here in the next few weeks. Birdwatchers in Sudan should look out for this species and report any sightings to Birdlife. To my knowledge, nobody has actually seen any of these tagged birds in Sudan, so all their data is based on satellite locations. Any information they receive (such as the size of groups, feeding activity, any observed threats, the type of habitat or farmland etc) could be valuable in helping them protect this species.

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