One of the best known meadow birds, the Lapwing, is not doing well. From the mid-90s, the number of breeding Lapwings in our country declines rapidly. In the period 2005-2014 even by almost 5 percent per year. That is why 2016 has been declared the Year of Lapwing by Sovon and Bird Protection Netherlands.

The breeding population of Lapwing in the Netherlands increased until the 1980s, but this clearly changed around 1990. In 2013, about half of the 1990 breeding numbers were still present. The latest estimate of the number of breeding pairs is between 160,000 – 240,000 (Meadow Bird Balance 2013). Why does Lapwing decrease by almost 5% per year nowadays? There are strong indications that too few Lapwings invariably survive their first weeks. That is why in the year of the lapwing research was done into the survival of chickens, also looking at the effect of certain measures on the survival chances. Download here the final report.

Research topics

  • What is Lapwing’s chick survival?
  • How is it on arable land (especially corn) and on herb-rich or herb-poor grassland?
  • How effective are the protection measures (eg edge management on arable land and herbaceous grassland) for lapwings?
  • Can the observed behavior of Lapwings (breeding codes) during BMP counts serve as a measure of reproduction success?
  • What is the development in the number of eggs that hatch per successful clutch and does this differ per crop type? is de kuikenoverleving van de Kievit?


Vogelbescherming Nederland, Sovon, Vogeltrekstation

Wolf Teunissen