Noble Snipe Gallinago nobilis


Justification of Red List Category
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.

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).

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).


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

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.


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

Cisneros-Heredia, D.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Gallinago nobilis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/10/2021.