Lymnocryptes minimus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Charadriiformes Scolopacidae

Scientific Name: Lymnocryptes minimus (Brünnich, 1764)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Jack Snipe
French Bécassine sourde
Taxonomic Source(s): Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Ferrand, Y.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Malpas, L.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Chad; China; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Egypt; Eritrea; Estonia; Ethiopia; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Ghana; Greece; Guinea-Bissau; Hong Kong; Hungary; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Korea, Republic of; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Latvia; Lebanon; Liberia; Libya; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Mali; Malta; Mauritania; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Myanmar; Nepal; Netherlands; Nigeria; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Philippines; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia, Eastern Asian Russia, European Russia); Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; South Sudan; Spain; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Taiwan, Province of China; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; Uzbekistan; Viet Nam; Yemen
Barbados; Benin; Cameroon; Canada; Central African Republic; Gambia; Gibraltar; Iceland; Liechtenstein; Niger; Rwanda; Somalia; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Togo; United States; Zambia
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:10600000
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:No
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population is estimated to number > c.1,000,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). The European population is estimated at 19,600-44,100 pairs, which equates to 39,300-88,200 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend Justification:  The overall population trend is stable, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2015). In Europe the population size is estimated to be stable (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Continuing 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:Behaviour This species is fully migratory and crosses Europe on a broad front (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It breeds from May to early-September (del Hoyo et al. 1996) in well-dispersed solitary pairs (Johnsgard 1981, Snow and Perrins 1998), after which (between August and September) adults undergo a flightless moulting period close to the breeding grounds (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The autumn south-west migration occurs from mid-September to mid-November, with the species departing its wintering grounds again in March to mid-April (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Outside of the breeding season the species remains largely solitary, usually feeding singly or in groups of up to 5 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Most of its activities are carried out nocturnally or in the early morning and late evening (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat Breeding The species breeds in the northern taiga and forest tundra zones on open grassy marshes and bogs with swampy ground (Johnsgard 1981, del Hoyo et al. 1996) on flood-plains (del Hoyo et al. 1996), in swampy coniferous forest, willow Salix spp. marshes or wet alder Alnus spp. woods (Johnsgard 1981). Non-breeding Outside of the breeding season it inhabits both fresh and brackish wetlands (del Hoyo et al. 1996) showing a preference for mosaics of moist and waterlogged mudflats with soft, silty mud and dense of tussocks vegetation (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Suitable habitats include swamps, fens (Snow and Perrins 1998), grassy marshes (Johnsgard 1981), the margins of rivers and streams (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998), overgrown flood-lands, sewage farms (Snow and Perrins 1998), rice-fields (Johnsgard 1981), flooded arable fields, damp pastures and water meadows (Snow and Perrins 1998). Diet Its diet consists of adult and larval insects, annelid worms, small freshwater and terrestrial gastropods and the seeds and vegetative parts of aquatic and shoreline plants (Johnsgard 1981). Breeding site The nest is positioned on hummocks of sphagnum moss or grass tussocks on floating bogs just above the surrounding water (Johnsgard 1981), also on drier ground amongst bushes (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (e.g. dwarf birch Betula nana and heather) (Johnsgard 1981). Management information The annual success of reproduction is estimated every year by wing surveys in Denmark since the end of the 1970s, and in France since the mid-1990s. Hunting bags are estimated every year in Denmark (Clausager 2006).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):5.4
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is threatened by the loss and degradation of its wetland habitats through afforestation, peat extraction and drainage for agricultural intensification (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It also suffers from lead poisoning as a result of ingesting lead shot deposited on wetlands (Olivier 2006). Utilisation The species is hunted during the autumn migration (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (e.g. in Denmark) (Bregnballe et al. 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The species is listed on Annex II (A) and III (B) of the EU Birds Directive. The following information refers to the species's European range only: The annual success of reproduction is estimated every year by wing surveys in Denmark since the end of the 1970s, and in France since the mid-1990s. Hunting bags are estimated every year in Denmark (Clausager 2006).

Conservation Actions Proposed
The following information refers to the species's European range only: Afforestation, peat extraction and drainage should be stopped. Hunting should be monitored and regulated to ensure it does not impact this species.

Classifications [top]

4. Grassland -> 4.6. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded
suitability:Suitable season:non-breeding major importance:No
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability:Suitable season:breeding major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability:Suitable season:non-breeding major importance:No
12. Marine Intertidal -> 12.5. Marine Intertidal - Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses)
suitability:Suitable season:non-breeding major importance:No
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.8. Artificial/Aquatic - Seasonally Flooded Agricultural Land
suitability:Suitable season:non-breeding major importance:No

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:Yes
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Invasive species control or prevention:No
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.1. Habitat shifting & alteration
♦ timing:Future ♦ scope:Whole (>90%) ♦ severity:Unknown  
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.3. Indirect ecosystem effects

Bibliography [top]

BirdLife International. 2015. European Red List of Birds. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg.

Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.

Bregnballe, T.; Noer, H.; Christensen, T.K.; Clausen, P.; Asferg, T.; Fox, A.D.; Delany, S. 2006. Sustainable hunting of migratory waterbirds: the Danish approach. In: G. Boere, C. Galbraith and D. Stroud (eds), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 854-860. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh, U.K.

Clausager, I. 2006. Wing survey of Woodcock and Snipe in Denmark. International Wader Studies 11: 106-112.

Delany, S. and Scott, D. 2006. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., and Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Hayman, P.; Marchant, J.; Prater, A. J. 1986. Shorebirds. Croom Helm, London.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

Johnsgard, P. A. 1981. The plovers, sandpipers and snipes of the world. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, U.S.A. and London.

Olivier, G-N. 2006. Considerations on the use of lead shot over wetlands. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 866-867. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.

Snow, D.W. and Perrins, C.M. 1998. The Birds of the Western Palearctic, Volume 1: Non-Passerines. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Wetlands International. 2015. Waterbird Population Estimates. Available at: (Accessed: 17/09/2015).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Lymnocryptes minimus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22693133A86640472. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided