In Armenia, for the first time in the history of observations, a pair of the Plovers was registered staying during winter – as shown by the results of the latest International Waterbird Census. It was told by Dr. Karen Aghababyan, executive director of the “TSE - Towards Sustainable Ecosystems” NGO, to Armenian News- NEWS.am.
According to Aghababyan, for the first time the Spur-winged Lapwings were registered in the republic in November of 1995.
It is a southern species, and lives mainly in the Eastern Mediterranean, the territories of Sub-Saharan and West Africa, and on the Arabian Peninsula.
In the next 17 to 18 years, the Spur-winged Lapwings in Armenia have not been registered, but then began to be observed by ornithologists and birdwatchers every year or two.
“Since 2018, with each visit to the Armash Wetlands, we began recording the same pair of Spur-winged Lapwings. It is very likely that we can talk about breeding of the pair,” Karen Aghababyan said, adding that only a few species of sandpipers stay in Armenia for wintering: Green Sandpiper, Northern Lapwing, and Common Snipe; the latter is not nesting here, but only visits Armenia to stay overwinter.
The ornithologist links the Lapwings wintering with global warming.
“It also suggests that the species begins to spread north. Young birds are looking for new nesting sites, and since the south is already occupied, they are trying to develop northern areas. The fact that a pair of the Lapwings stayed for the winter, and is possibly nesting, indicates that the conditions on the Armash Wetlands are suitable and safe for them. So in the foreseeable future, an increase of the population of Spur-winged Lapwings in Armenia is not excluded, and for now, the most important task is to preserve a pair of these wonderful birds for the country,” Karen Aghababyan concluded.