The Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) has been elected “Bird of the year” in 2012. The breeding population of the species in Norway is in decline. In 1981 the the breeding population was estimated to 60,000 pairs. Signals of a decline was seen from the early nineties, and it has continued since then. By making the species “Bird of the year 2012”, the Norwegian Ornithological Society hope to shed more light on this charismatic birds. The signals from observers all over Norway do not sound very promising.
The Northern Lapwing is categorized as near threatened (NT) on the national Red List. The category indicates in brief that the Norwegian population of lapwing has a 5% chance of extinction within 100 years.
The main threat for the lapwing, like many cultivated species, is probably the greatest degree of modernization of agriculture. In addition, different predators pose a threat to both adults and nesting chicks. A thorough survey of the species now may tell us whether this threat is right, and will hopefully also provide knowledge of any other threat factors. In connection with the year’s Bird-work in 2012 would NOF to conduct surveys in areas that were surveyed in 1994. At the beginning of this work, it would be natural to digitize this material in Artsobservasjoner so that it will be possible to check out the sites and comparing the numbers. An example of an area with particularly large decline is the Lista Peninsula in Farsund. It is important to investigate whether other core areas for vipa experiencing the same trend, in which case it is very alarming for the Norwegian lapwing population!
Developments in neighboring countries also point to the same. In Sweden, says the Swedish Red List species that previously have declined dramatically, but it is now relatively stable at a lower level (lake Berg et al 2010). In Denmark it is classified in the category “Least Concern (LC)”, that is not red-listed, but it’s with a dozen species put on a so-called “golden list” of species in decline, but that does not meet the IUCN’s criteria for risk of extinction (Flensted 2005). DOF report a further decline of their websites . Lapwing populations are, therefore, decline on a broad front, but due to the criteria set for the risk of extinction, has not this been considered sufficient to give the species was located in the highest category on the Red List. Perhaps vipas earlier occurrence of poorly known? There is great reason to turn to focus on vipas status in Norway!