European Golden Plover Survey 2020

Following counts of Golden Plovers in Europe in 2003, 2008 and 2014, we are aiming at having coordinated counts of the species on 10-11th or 17-18th October 2020. In some countries, there are already coordinated waterfowl counts during one of these weekends. Each country will pick one of the two weekends.

The counts focus on Golden Plovers, but we would like to ask all participants to use this opportunity to include Lapwing and Curlew in the counts. The status of both species in Europe is of high interest, not least in terms of conservation.

Countries participating are: Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Due to the late start of this project, some countries won’t be able to coordinate counts in the way they would like, but will ask their membership and/or other volunteers to report Golden Plovers, Lapwings and Curlews on the specific weekend and report it through the specific country’s reporting systems/databases. We would like you all to register the counts within separate sites with the coordinates, and preferably a note of which sort of habitat this site is.

Other European countries not currently on this list are very welcome to join. We have been contacting people in other countries and have either not heard from those contacts or they have come back to say that unfortunately, they could not help this time around. After 7th October is a deadline, we have set for countries to join our efforts.

If you would like to join the efforts and your country is on the list please e-mail for a contact to your country coordinator.

The number from previous counts:

Country Major population group Total 2003 Total 2008 Total 2014
Belgium Continental [2000] 3229 n.c.
Bulgaria Continental n.c. 3 n.c.
Czechia Continental n.c. 94 1239
Denmark Continental 380000 270774 291204
Estonia Continental n.c. 887 118
Finland Continental n.c. 1210 n.c.
Germany Continental 220000 193231 *
Hungary Continental n.c. 138 *
Latvia Continental n.c. 0 2938
Lithuania Continental n.c. 22244 n.c.
Netherlands Continental 180000 167160 153297
Poland Continental 22000 52630 69222
Sweden Continental 115000 139557 135120
Iceland Atlantic n.c. 7662 n.c.
Republic of Ireland Atlantic 24000 56841 35760
United Kingdom Atlantic 143000 152847 180592

* Data collected, but currently unavailable; n.c. = no counts


IWSG Golden Plover Project <>


Featured image: European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Vlieland – Vallei van Malgum, the Netherlands. ©Wouter van der Ham, 12-10-2016 on