Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).
Behaviour This species is not strongly migratory but does make local dispersive movements related to habitat changes (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). It moves during the dry season to areas of recent brush fires to breed (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and departs again for drier areas after breeding (Hayman et al. 1986) during the rainy season when the grass becomes too high (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species breeds semi-colonially and occurs in loosely associated wide-ranging flocks of 10-40 individuals outside of the breeding season (occasionally up to 100-150 especially just after breeding season) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species may also form large communal roosting flocks (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat It inhabits dry, open, treeless or sparsely wooded habitats, and shows a strong preference for nesting amongst newly sprouted grass on recently burnt grasslands (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). It also frequents pastures, Accacia spp. (Urban et al. 1986) short grass savanna (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), open patches in bushveld or thornbush (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), mopane Colophospermum spp. shrublands (Urban et al. 1986), cultivated land, fallow fields and artificial grasslands (del Hoyo et al. 1996), avoiding areas where the grass greater than 60 mm tall (Hockey et al. 2005). The species will tolerate desert conditions (Urban et al. 1986) and is occasionally observed on sand-dunes (del Hoyo et al. 1996), and although it generally avoids moist ground it may form communal daytime roosts near the edges of or on islands in lakes and rivers (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet Its diet consists of adult and larval insects (e.g. termites, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets and ants) and earthworms (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a scrape or depression in the ground placed amongst newly sprouted grass on recently burnt grasslands, often close to trees that provide shade (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species nests semi-colonially, with neighbouring pairs usually spaced between 25 and 50 m part (del Hoyo et al. 1996).
Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Vanellus coronatus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/09/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/09/2020.