Source: This post is based on article “Habitat of bird that flies non-stop for 5 days from Japan to Australia under threat“ published in Down to Earth on 31st August 2021.
What is the news?
The Latham’s Snipe shorebird, flies non-stop for five days over thousands of kilometres of ocean for its survival, twice a year.
Unfortunately, their wetland habitat is now being lost to development and other pressures, putting this tough little bird at risk.
Latham’s Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii)
- Latham’s Snipe, formerly known as the Japanese Snipe, was once a popular game bird.
- It breeds in northern Japan and parts of eastern Russia during May-July and spends its non-breeding season (September to March) along Australia’s eastern coast. Historically, it used to breed in Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands
- It has incredible endurance, undertaking a non-stop, over-ocean flight between its breeding and non-breeding grounds.
- Latham’s Snipe hides away in thickly vegetated wetlands during the day to avoid local predators, and does not remain in large flocks.
- Their exceptional eyesight helps them constantly scan for dangers at night, when they forage for food in open wet and muddy areas.
- Latham’s Snipe is the ultimate sun-seeker. It breeds in the Northern Hemisphere when the snows have melted and the weather is warm. Then returns to the Southern Hemisphere to take advantage of spring rains, warmer weather and food-rich wetlands.
- Threat– Hunting and wetland loss during the 20th century have contributed to a decline in Latham’s Snipe in south-eastern Australia. Urban development continues to threaten Latham’s Snipe habitats.
- IUCN Red list status: Least Concern (LC)