Ornis Hungarica. vol.8 Suppl. 1.. (1998) p.177-186.
Is the migratory behaviour of Hungarian Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus) changing?
The migration patterns of the Hungarian Lapwing population were analysed, based on 207 recoveries of birds ringed between 1909 and 1994. The population has two traditional, markedly distinct wintering areas: most birds migrate to Italy and disperse around the western part of the Mediterranean Sea, while other Lapwings migrate directly to the Atlantic region, similarly to the majority of European populations. A comparison between recoveries during 1909-32 and 1974-94 showed that the recovery rate of birds reported from the Atlantic region was significantly higher and from the Mediterranean region is lower, respectively, in the recent decades than earlier. Two alternative hypotheses are discussed to interpret this change. The first hypothesis is that the number of Hungarian Lapwings wintering in the Atlantic region has increased from a few birds to a considerable wintering population. Another hypothesis is based on human social factors. Declines in the hunting pressure and/or changing attitudes towards reporting hunted birds in the Mediterranean region may falsely indicate a change in the migratory behaviour of Hungarian Lapwing population.