Apr 1, 2020

Migration strategy and site fidelity of the globally threatened Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Paul F DonaldR. D. Sheldon


Population declines of the critically endangered Sociable Lapwing are probably due to high mortality along its migration routes or on its wintering grounds, both of which are very poorly known. We therefore undertook a long-term study of the species' movements using satellite tagging, colour-ringing and targeted field surveys. We also compiled a database of historical and recent sightings of the species from published and unpublished sources. There were two migration flyways from the breeding grounds in Kazakhstan, along which birds used different staging strategies. A longer western route (c. 5200 km) takes birds west to southern Russia, then south through the Caucasus and the Levant to wintering areas in Saudi Arabia and eastern Sudan. A shorter eastern route (c. 2800 km) takes birds south to Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, then over the mountains of northern Afghanistan to wintering areas in Pakistan and north-western India. In spring, birds of the western flyway cut out the Caucasus by making a direct crossing of the Caspian Sea from Azerbaijan. The migration strategy is characterised by infrequent long-distance movements followed by often lengthy stopovers in a small number of staging areas that are used consistently across y...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Calcinus elegans
Cyartonema elegans
Coleonyx elegans
Fundulus lima
Cestrum elegans
Clarkia unguiculata
Clathrulina elegans
Cardioglossa elegans

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