Javan lapwing

The Javan lapwing (Vanellus macropterus) also known as Javanese lapwing and Javanese wattled lapwing is (or was) a wader in the lapwing family.

Javan lapwing

Critically endangered, possibly extinct  (IUCN 3.1)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Charadriidae
Genus: Vanellus
V. macropterus
Binomial name
Vanellus macropterus
(Wagler, 1827)

Charadrius macropterus Wagler, 1827
Rogibyx macropterus (Wagler, 1827)

This large, long-legged wader inhabited the marshes and river deltas of Java, and possibly Sumatra and Timor. It was last seen in 1940, and as it was a conspicuous species unlikely to be overlooked, it seems likely that it is extinct. And the IUCN classified it as such in their 1994 and 1996 assessments, but reversed that in 2000 and listed the species as Critically Endangered (CR).

In an assessment dated 1 October 2016, the IUCN justified the classification:

This conspicuous species has not been recorded since 1940, and it is likely to have declined severely owing to extensive habitat degradation and destruction, probably compounded by significant hunting pressure. However, not all potential habitat has been surveyed, and local reports need to be followed up with dedicated surveys. Any remaining population is likely to be tiny, and for these reasons it is treated as Critically Endangered.

The IUCN clarifies by citing "unconfirmed reports" by locals from 2013. While acknowledging that finding live individuals is "unlikely", insight gained from observations in the 1920s may point to additional habitats not previously considered.[2] Specifically grasslands on Belitung Island may be one such location to be surveyed.[3] However, a 2018 study, citing previous patterns of bird population decline and the lack of any confirmed sightings, recommended uplisting the species to Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct).[4]


  1. BirdLife International (2018). "Vanellus macropterus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2018: e.T22693962A129590644. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22693962A129590644.en. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  2. van Balen, S.; Nijman, V. 2007. New information on the Critically Endangered Javanese Lapwing Vanellus macropterus, based mainly on unpublished notes by August Spennemann (c.1878-1945). Bird Conservation International 17(3): 225-234.
  3. Iqbal, M., Lestiyanto, T., Wibowo, W.K., Taufiqurrahman, I. and Nazar, L. 2013. In search of the Javanese Lapwing Vanellus macropterus 2001-2012. BirdingASIA 19: 68-72.
  4. Butchart, Stuart H.M.; Lowe, Stephen; Martin, Rob W.; Symes, Andy; Westrip, James R.S.; Wheatley, Hannah (2018-11-01). "Which bird species have gone extinct? A novel quantitative classification approach". Biological Conservation. 227: 9–18. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2018.08.014. ISSN 0006-3207.
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