Bird Conservation International

Research Article

New information on the Critically Endangered Javanese Lapwing Vanellus macropterus, based mainly on unpublished notes by August Spennemann (c. 1878–1945)

S (BAS) Van Balena1 c1 and Vincent Nijmana2

a1 Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Sheffield University, Alfred Denny Building, Western Bank, Sheffield, U.K.

a2 Zoological Museum, University of Amsterdam, P. O. Box 94766, 1090 GT Amsterdam, The Netherlands


In a manuscript written by August Spennemann in the 1930s, information is presented on display behaviour, vocalizations and habitat at two hitherto unknown localities of the Javanese Lapwing Vanellus (Hoplopterus) macropterus, a species last recorded in 1940. We provide a translation of the notes and give a summary of all information additional to what has already been published on the species. The Javanese Lapwing is historically known from two discrete areas on the island of Java: one in the west along the north coast, and one in the east along the south coast. Spennemann's observations, made in 1927 and 1928 at Poponcol and Tegallurung, represent the last documented sightings of the species along the north coast and are situated some 75 km east of the north coast's previous easternmost known locality, effectively doubling the species' known range in western Java. At this time, the Javanese Lapwing was observed daily, and unlike at most other localities from where the species is known, was common. Spennemann observed them in groups of up to six birds, the largest group size recorded. Some local movement or migration is suggested by its erratic occurrence and off-shore sightings.

(Received May 10 2006)

(Accepted September 26 2006)


c1 *Author for correspondence. Current address: Roompotstraat 44, 6826 EP Arnhem, The Netherlands; e-mail: