Adult survival and annual movement patterns of common snipe in Iceland

  • Aevar Petersen Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Sverrir Thorstensen Akureyri, Iceland
  • Ib Petersen Department of Ecoscience, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  • Scott W. Petrek Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Slimbridge, UK
  • Kane Brides Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Conservation Evidence Department, Slimbridge, UK
  • Anna Calvert Landscape Science and Technology Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, National Wildlife Research Centre, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Mark L. Mallory Biology, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS, Canada
  • Greg J. Robertson Wildlife Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Mount Pearl, NL, Canada
  • Sarah E. Gutowsky Biology, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS, Canada
Keywords: Gallinago gallinago, wintering, geolocator, NAO, Ireland, habitat loss


The common snipe (Gallinago gallinago) is a wader that breeds in subarctic regions from Iceland to Russia, and for which global populations are in decline. We studied snipe breeding in western Iceland between 1998 and 2020, locating nests and ringing birds annually. In 2019 and 2020, we deployed geolocators on nesting adults to estimate the timing of their annual migration and the location of overwintering areas. Birds moved principally between breeding locations in Iceland to wintering areas in Ireland, although some birds may winter farther north. We also found that apparent annual adult survival averaged 66%, but was higher in years with warmer, wetter winters. Given the similarity of our survival estimates to those from snipe elsewhere, we suggest that adult survival is unlikely a major contributor to declining populations, and other factors like habitat loss may be of more concern.


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How to Cite
Petersen A., Thorstensen S., Petersen I. K., Petrek S. W., Brides K., Calvert A., Mallory M. L., Robertson G. J., & Gutowsky S. E. (2023). Adult survival and annual movement patterns of common snipe in Iceland. Polar Research, 42.
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