Gallinago imperialis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Charadriiformes Scolopacidae

Scientific Name: Gallinago imperialis Sclater & Salvin, 1869
Common Name(s):
English Imperial Snipe
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Capper, D., Sharpe, C.J., Symes, A.
This little-known and elusive species apparently has a small population, and in some areas it is likely to be declining owing to destruction and degradation of its páramo habitat. It is consequently classified as Near Threatened, but may be downlisted to Least Concern if it is found to be more common and widespread than is currently known.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Gallinago imperialis was considered extinct for over half a century, but has been found at approximately six sites in Peru since 1967, and at 12 locations in Ecuador since 1988 (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990, Krabbe 1992, Piersma 1996b, Krabbe et al. 1997, Williams et al. 1997). In Ecuador, it probably occurs continuously along the east and west slopes, on massifs from Carchi to Cotopaxi (Krabbe et al. 1997). In Peru, it is perhaps equally widespread on the east slope, although it apparently occurs at very low densities (4-5 displaying within 1.6 km2 of suitable ridge-top habitat) (Terborgh and Weske 1972), and known populations are small and localised (Johnsgard 1981, Krabbe 1992). Also recorded in Colombia. If the number of records and known sites continue to increase, it may be downlisted to Least Concern.

Countries occurrence:
Colombia; Ecuador; Peru
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:692000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):2745
Upper elevation limit (metres):3700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population is preliminarily estimated to number at least 10,000 individuals, roughly equating to 6,700 mature individuals. This requires confirmation.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat degradation.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:6700Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It occurs around the tree-line at 2,745-3,700 m, where it is probably largely restricted to bogs and moist elfin forest intermixed with tree-ferns and tall grass, but is also found in bamboo-fringed glades with extensive Sphagnum mosses (Krabbe 1992, Piersma 1996b).

Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):4.8
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Burning, grazing and conversion for agriculture of the páramo has negatively affected areas adjacent to the tree-line, consequently destroying and degrading its preferred habitat mosaic (Stattersfield et al. 1998).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Research its biology. Effectively protect remaining core areas of páramo. Search for the species in potentially suitable habitat.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Gallinago imperialis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22693130A93385563. . Downloaded on 21 May 2018.
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