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Noble Snipe Gallinago nobilis
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is classified as Near Threatened as there is evidence that hunting and the loss and degradation of its habitats are likely to be driving an on-going and moderately rapid decline in its population. If evidence were to suggest a more rapid decline in its population, it might be eligible for a higher threat category.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Distribution and population
Gallinago nobilis occurs in the northern Andes of South America, from north-western Venezuela through central Colombia and into Ecuador. No population estimates are available, but the species is described as uncommon to fairly numerous (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001, Hilty 2003, Restall et al. 2006). No movements are known and the species is presumably sedentary (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Localised declines have been noted in recent years, for example at La Mica Lagoon in Ecuador (Cisneros-Heredia 2006).

Population justification
No population estimates of this species are available, but it is described as fairly common.

Trend justification
This species is suspected to be experiencing a moderately rapid population decline owing to the on-going threats of localised over-hunting and habitat conversion and degradation (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001, Cisneros-Heredia 2006).

The species inhabits montane grassy wetlands, swamps and bogs, wet savanna and pasture and reed-marshes adjacent to eutrophic lakes (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It is usually found at 2,500-3,900 m, but may range from 2,000 to 4,000 m. It breeds from March to September, probably laying a clutch of only two eggs (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

The species is targeted by both indigenous people and sports-hunters and is threatened by localised over-hunting, as well as the desiccation, transformation and degradation of its habitats (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001, Cisneros-Heredia 2006, D. Cisneros-Heredia in litt. 2011). Suitable habitat is converted for agriculture and degraded by fires (Cisneros-Heredia 2006, D. Cisneros-Heredia in litt. 2011).

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in a number of protected areas; for example, in Ecuador, stable populations are present in Limpiopungu Lagoon in Cotopaxi National Park and a private reserve in the Yanacocha area (Cisneros-Heredia 2006), and it is found in Chingaza National Park in Colombia (Fundación ProAves in press). Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys in order to estimate the total population size and rate of decline. Implement an outreach and education campaign to reduce hunting pressure. Increase the area of suitable habitat that receives protection.

Cisneros-Heredia, D. F. 2006. A preliminary approach to the Snipes (Gallinago) of Ecuador, with remarks on their distribution in Ecuadorian IBAs and its conservation status. WI-WWSG Newsletter 32: 4-11.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Hilty, S. L. 2003. Birds of Venezuela. A&C Black, London.

Restall, R.; Rodner, C.; Lentino, M. 2006. Birds of northern South America: an identification guide. Volume 1: species accounts. Christopher Helm, London.

Ridgely, R. S.; Greenfield, P. J. 2001. The birds of Ecuador: status, distribution and taxonomy. Cornell University Press and Christopher Helm, Ithaca and London.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Sharpe, C J, Taylor, J.

Cisneros-Heredia, D.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Gallinago nobilis. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Scolopacidae (Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes)
Species name author Sclater, 1856
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 97,300 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species