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North Merseyside Biodiversity Action Plan
Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
1. CURRENT STATUS
1.1.1 The Lapwing population in England and Wales declined by 48% between 1987 and 1998 to around 63,000 pairs. A 13% decline was recorded in Scotland between 1992 and 1997. Declines have been greatest in SW England and Wales and the species is now only numerous in N and NW England, which between them hold at least two thirds of the UK population. Changes in agricultural practices have been the major factor determining both population size and distribution.
1.1.2 The Lapwing is ‘amber listed’ in Birds of Conservation Concern in the UK because it winters here in internationally important numbers. Recent evidence of dramatic declines in the breeding population is likely to result in the species being ‘red listed’ in future editions. It is a Species of Conservation Concern in the UK BAP.
1.2.1 Lapwings continue to breed in all suitable habitat. Distribution in North Merseyside was surveyed in 1997-99 when breeding was recorded in 89 tetrads out of 140.
1.2.2 The highest population densities occur in areas of arable farmland that still retain pockets of grassland. High densities also occur on coastal grassland at Marshside, Southport where up to 50 pairs per square km are recorded. Breeding populations persist at various sites within the conurbation, principally at Fazakerley and the Rimrose Valley.
1.2.3 The extent of recent declines is not known.
1.2.4 The species is also a locally abundant winter visitor to the region frequenting grassland, arable fields and coastal areas.