FW: Overview of 2018-2019 snipe season

To: "" <>
Subject: FW: Overview of 2018-2019 snipe season
From: Lori Gould <>
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2019 06:51:39 +0000

Hi All,


Please find below a message from Dr Birgita Hansen about the Latham’s Snipe project to date. In addition to this, there is also a story about the satellite tracking at Jerrabomberra Wetlands via the following link if you haven’t seen it already:


I am always happy for people to get in touch if you have any questions. Keep those wonderful photos coming in too!


Cheers Lori




Dear snipe counters and colleagues


I have finished compiling the count results from the last season and once again, they have been really great. We are now regularly counting ~2 - 4% of the global population. That is a fair effort!


Count totals were:

  • Sept 2018 – 607 (number of sites = 110)
  • Nov 2018 – 1106 (number of sites = 117)
  • Jan 2019 – 862 (number of sites = 109)


Some numbers have changes slightly since the last update as a few extra counts dribbled in late.


Next season’s counts will be September 21, November 16 and January 18 (2020)


Each season we continue to get more assistance from more people, both experienced and new to snipe counting. We are seeing more and more sites added, which is great as it will help increase our knowledge of the sites snipe are using and what the range of habitats at different sites is. I am also excited to finally get some count data from the alpine areas, thanks to Martin Schulz.


But what has also been really important and really amazing is those of you who continue to monitor your sites each season so that we now have several years of data for quite a few sites. And at least 25 of these regularly-monitored sites hold >18 snipe, which is the threshold for a nationally important for Latham’s Snipe under the EPBC Act. With your support, I would like to continue the surveys for some years to come, to try and extract some information about trends from key sites. This won’t be possible without your dedicated efforts.


This season has had various successes and failures. I won’t dwell on the failures, but I am excited to give you a summary of some of the other successes – namely the tracking.


In November, we finally recaptured another geolocator bird – P3. We think P3 was a male and it looks like he visited the breeding grounds in southern Sakhalin. It is hard to say for sure as the resolution of geolocator data is very course. A copy of P3’s movement map is below (which many of you have probably already seen).



In February, we commenced another satellite tracking trial, this time using PinPoint Argos transmitters. We only managed to catch 1 bird big enough for a tag (names Patience or Nintai in Japanese), but she has been transmitting data since we released her and the accuracy of these data is much better than in 2016 because the tags are fitted with GPS. So far, she has hung around the turf farm near Jerrabomberra wetlands. For those not familiar with the site, the Fyshwick sewage treatment plant is in the centre of the image, and Jerrabomberra wetlands is to the left in the image.


If anyone is good at Japanese, please feel free to correct me on the kanji in the image!


The remainder of the tags will be deployed late spring- early summer next season.


We also have the last of the radio tracking finishing up in Canberra at the moment. We may seek to conduct more in the future, but that will be funding dependent.


Finally, our first ever snipe honours student Andrew Crossley finished his honours research project last year on radio tracking of snipe around Port Fairy. I will let you know when the results of that study are publicly-available (most likely through the latham’s snipe website).






Dr Birgita Hansen

Research Fellow

Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation

Federation University Australia | Mount Helen | Suite 15 | Greenhill Enterprise Centre

PO Box 691 Ballarat Vic 3353



Australasian Wader Studies Group


Telephone +61 3 5327 9952 | Mobile 0428 591 810


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