Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Arkansas
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Carroll, J. M., and D. G. Krementz. 2014. Density and abundance of wintering Wilson's snipe in the Mississippi Flyway. Wildlife Biology 20:108-114.


Despite being widespread and relatively important as a webless game bird species, Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata) is one of the least studied North American game birds, and there are indications that snipe populations may be in decline. We conducted roadside surveys stratified at the township level in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana, as well as, the Red River Region of Louisiana, and the Gulf Coastal Plain of Louisiana. While estimating detection and snipe densities for the study area, we identified observer, vegetation cover and water cover as important covariates. For 2009 and 2010 combined, we detected 3,979 snipe along 1,127 line transects (2,019 km). We estimated snipe densities of 9.18 inds/km2 (95% CI: 5.21 - 16.17) in 2009, 4.01 inds/km2 (95% CI: 2.76 - 5.84) in 2010 and 4.15 inds/km2 (95% CI: 3.02-5.70) in both years pooled. We used the resulting snipe density estimates within the study area to calculate abundance estimates of 1,167, 964 (95%CI: 664,312-2,061,788) in 2009, 511,303 (95%CI: 351,919- 744,641) in 2010 and 529,155 (95%CI: 385,072-726,791) in both years pooled. We found that a roadside line transect survey method produced reasonable density estimates for wintering snipe in the lower Mississippi Flyway, and could be considered as an appropriate method for future snipe population monitoring.