Project Lapwing Survey 2019: Calling on citizen scientists to help record breeding Lapwings

BirdWatch Ireland’s Project Lapwing is calling for the public’s help to collect breeding Lapwing records from around the country. If you know of Lapwings nesting in your area, we want to know about them.


The survey, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre on its web platform, will be collecting observations of breeding Lapwings from around the country. The Lapwing, which is sometimes called the Peewit or the Green Plover, is in trouble in Ireland, having suffered huge declines in breeding numbers over the past number of decades.


Declines in breeding Lapwing mirror those experienced by other ground nesting species, such as the Curlew, the dwindling status of which has been well documented. The most recent nationwide study, part of Bird Atlas 2007-11, reported a 53% decrease in its breeding range in Ireland in the last 40 years, while 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, “Lapwings are still relatively widespread, however, so we have an opportunity to intervene before they are at the brink of breeding extinction in Ireland, which is where Curlews now find themselves.”


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 is appealing for your records of breeding Lapwings 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 please visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre survey page:


BirdWatch Ireland will be running a free Project Lapwing workshop at Lough Boora, Co.Offaly on Tuesday, 16th April. This morning workshop aims to get attendees familiar with Lapwings, their ecology and breeding behaviour. For more information please email

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