Guest blog 1: Wood Snipe study in Nepal

Looking for Wood Snipe at an altitude of 4,200 metres in the Lauribina area. You can see the rhododendron scrub on the ground below the observer and Mount Manaslu (8,163 metres) and Ganesh Himal (7,422 metres) behind. Photo © Hari Basnet



A Wood Snipe study in Nepal was carried out by a group from the Small Mammals Conservation and Research Foundation. In spectacular scenery they spent many hours, mainly at dawn and dusk, searching suitable habitat for this enigmatic species.

Wood Snipes reside in the Rhodedendron scrub high in the Himalayas breeding between 3,800 and 4,414 meters in altitudes and wintering lower down to about 2,200 m.

The first you see of a Wood Snipe is when you flush it and generally that is the last you see of it too. So searching for signs of this bird was rather more involved that simply watching for them. Part of the work required checking out the cow pats as these were often used by the snipes to forage, leaving tell tale holes in them for the observers to find.

They were mostly located by call and that enabled the team to count the numbers.

The purpose of the project is to establish whether or not the population is under threat from farming practices or a regular religious festival that takes place in their breeding territory during that season.

Read more in the report by the project participants.