Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Wood Snipe Gallinago nemoricola is listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List (IUCN 2008). It breeds locally in the Himalayas of northwest and northeastern India, Nepal, Bhutan, and China in the regions of southeast Tibet, central Sichuan, and perhaps Yunnan (Birdlife International 2001, Grimmett et al. 2000). In winter, it occurs at lower altitudes in the Himalayas, as a regular visitor in small numbers to North Vietnam and as a vagrant (or perhaps irregular visitor) to the hills of central and southern India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, north Thailand and Laos (Birdlife International 2001). Historically, it was considered rare and local across much of its range. It appears to have declined in traditional wintering areas in parts of India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, from where there have been few recent records. It breeds from April-June in alpine meadows and marshes with scattered low bushes, or in dwarf scrub in barren, boulder-strewn areas, generally between 3000m - 5000m. In winter, it frequents swampy ground in and at the edge of evergreen forest and marshy grassland and scrub, below 3000m, sometimes down to lowland plains «100 m). Populations are partially migratory, with some birds traveling from the Himalayas to south India (Birdlife International 2001). In Nepal, six species of snipes have been recorded - the Common snipe Gallinago gallinago, Solitary Snipe Gallinago solitria, Wood Snipe (Gallinago nemericola), Pintail Snipe Gallinago stenura, Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimeus, and Greater Painted Snipe Rostratula bengalensis (Grimmett et al. 2000). With regard to Wood Snipe populations in Nepal, the information is limited.
This species is known to occur from the eastern border in Kanchenjunga Conservation Area to Shey-Phoksundo National Park in western Nepal (Birdlife International 2001), The presence of the species in the Gosainkunda area of Langtang National Park was confirmed over 15 years ago by Buckton and Morris, 1993. Hence this study was carried out during March-July 2007 to assess the conservation status and distrib ution of the Wood Snipe, and identify the existing threats to their existence in the area.

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