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6th April 2019, BirdWatch Ireland has secured funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine to coordinate a citizen science led breeding Lapwing survey this spring.

We are calling on the public and farmers alike to submit records of any breeding Lapwing they know of, in their area or on their farms. The press release reads:

"Calling on citizen scientists to help record breeding Lapwing 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 Lapwing nesting in your area, we want to know about them. The survey, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, will be collecting observations of breeding Lapwing from around the country. The Lapwing which is sometimes called the Peewit or Green Plover is in trouble in Ireland suffering huge declines in their breeding numbers over the past number of decades. Declines in breeding Lapwing mirror those experienced by other ground nesting species such as the Curlew who's dwindling status has been well documented. The most recent nationwide study: Bird Atlas 2007-11, reported a 53% decrease in its breeding range in Ireland in the last 40 years whilst 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, "Lapwing however, are still relatively widespread so we have an opportunity to intervene before they are at the brink of breeding extinction in Ireland such as where Curlew have found themselves in recent years." 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 are appealing for your records of breeding Lapwing 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 follow the link to the National Biodiversity Data Centre survey page https://records.biodiversityireland.ie/record/project-lapwing#7/53.455/-8.016

BirdWatch Ireland are running a free Project Lapwing workshop at Lough Boora, Co.Offaly on Tuesday, April 16th. This morning workshop aims to get attendees familiar with Lapwing, their ecology and breeding behaviour. For more information email rwhelan@birdwatchireland.ie "

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© BirdWatch Galway 2019