In 2006 nearly all suitable habitat for Common Snipes in Drenthe (Fig. 1) was checked at least three times during the breeding season in order to get information about distribution and numbers. The count revealed a population of at least 258 pairs (Fig. 2) of which most bread in semi-natural meadows, heathers and peat moor relics (Fig. 3). In 1974-76 the population was estimated to be 1000 pairs, but tills was already after considerable decline had taken place. Later estimates gave 600 pairs in 1977- 80, 200-400 in 1990-95 and 250-300 in 1998-2000. Decline occurred mainly in agricultural areas (Fig. 5) which explains the decrease in range (compare Fig. 1 and 2). In most meadow reserves, heaths and peat moors the population remained more or less stable, however with large variation within habitats (Fig. 6). Decline is due to intensified agriculture and draining of wet areas. In areas that became wetter during the last decades, the population is stable and in some areas even increased. Because the Common Snipe is less linked to agriculture and is apparently able to survive in poor conditions like in heather and peat moors, its future might be a little brighter than that of other meadow birds in Drenthe.

Drentse vogels

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Werkgroep Avifauna Drenthe

Bert Dijkstra, Remco Drewes, Hans Olk, Harold Steendam, & Arend J. van Dijk. (2007). Resultaten van het jaar van de Watersnip Gallinago gallinago in 2006. Drentse vogels, 21(1), 38–48.