As regular readers of the RSPB Saving Species blog will know, the RSPB has been supporting work on the Critically Endangered Sociable Lapwing since 2005, and from 2011 has been acting as co-ordinator for the implementation of the International Single Species Action Plan for the species under a Memorandum of Cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Secretariat of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA). We know from extensive research between 2004 and 2012 that Sociable Lapwings are declining due to low adult survival, which is almost certainly caused by being shot during migration. There is evidence from known stopover sites in northeastern Syria and some areas in Iraq from 2008 and 2009 that these birds are widely hunted by both locals and visiting falconers from the Gulf States.
The latest reports from the region are the first to confirm the killing of Sociable Lapwings in
. The birds appear to have
been shot on 12th March. Tim Stowe, the RSPB's Director of International
Operations, says: "Regrettably, this is the first confirmed hunting of
Sociable Lapwings in Kuwait Kuwait,
and this latest information is of particular concern as these birds were
where they would have started to breed in six weeks' time." Kazakhstan