There hasn’t been any major changes to the whereabouts of our two snipe since the last update. 59 is still in Gwydir wetlands, spending its days and nights in different parts of the site. 64 is still dam hopping north-west of Newcastle, with no discernable pattern yet to its choice of wetland.
In other news, the Latham’s Snipe project has a few new sub-projects, in addition to the national surveys and the tracking. One is a social research / policy project exploring the on-ground changes that occurred around the time that the Japan Australia Migratory Bird Agreement was ratified. This includes gathering insights through interviews with ex-snipe hunters and government staff about what makes international conservation agreements successful or not. This research is being conducted by Federation University honours student Michelle Matthews under the supervision of Eduardo Gallo Cajiao (University of Queensland), Evan Hamman (Queensland University of Technology), Grant Palmer and Birgita (at FedUni).
The other project, which just started today, is a collaboration with Paul Sunnucks, Sasha Pavlova and Anna Polesskiy at Monash University to investigate the population genetic structure of Latham’s Snipe based on the samples we have been collecting from captured birds at Port Fairy and Jerrabomberra wetlands in the last 4 years. This will include sexing birds and determining whether the 2 “strange snipe” we caught at Jerra in 2019 are definitely Latham’s Snipe.
Finally, we have a new project commencing this year to develop a night time monitoring method for snipe using thermal imaging cameras along with more traditional techniques like spot lighting. An honours student will help with the feld-based research and be supervised by Birgita and Nick Schultz at FedUni, and Rohan Clarke at Monash Uni.
If you’re interested to know more about these projects, please get in contact with Birgita.