Woodcock and Snipe Specialist Group

The Woodcock and Snipe Specialist Group is a network of woodcock and snipe specialist (both scientists and non-scientists) concerned with the study, monitoring, management and conservation of the woodcock and snipe species populations.


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Aims of the Group

The first aim of WSSG is to provide an up-to-date knowledge on eight woodcock and 18 snipe species in the world. It is also expected to encourage new research and to facilitate contacts between researchers. WSSG plays the role of expertise platform for biologists conservationists and wildlife managers interested in woodcocks and snipes for share and exchange of information. As these are games species, the final objective is to ensure the sustainable use of the populations. For some species (European Woodcock, American Woodcock) have been running for several decades.

Due to the distribution of the species, WSSG concentrates on all continents (except Australia). However, the major part of the actions are carried out in Europe and North America. In future, special effort would be made to improve knowledge of the African, South American and Asian species. 


WSSG membership is open without charge to Woodcock and Snipe specialists worldwide. There are currently about 50 members from 25 countries around the world. WSSG members are automatically enrolled in the WSSG list and receive the annual Newsletter. They also become members of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

If you wish to join please contact the Chair at the address below stating your name, address, telephone and fax numbers, E-mail address, and areas of special interest (species and geographic regions). We look forward to hearing from you.

WSSG organises a Workshop every 4-5 years and publishes a annual Newsletter.


7th Woodcock & Snipe Workshop was held from 16 to 18 May 2011 in Saint-Petersburg (Russian Federation). 

The 7th Woodcock & Snipe Workshop was held in Saint-Petersburg (Russia) from 16 to 18 May 2011. This meeting was organized by the Office national de la chasse et de la faune sauvage with the financial help of the Embassy of France in Russia and the Russian Association of Hunters and Fishermen.

About 50 members of the Woodcock and Snipe Specialist Group participated in the Workshop in order to review the knowledge on  these game species. Twelve countries were represented: Germany, Denmark, United Kingdom, Portugal, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Lithuania, Switzerland, Estonia, Hungary, France. Due to the venue location, the Russian biologists formed a third of participants.

In total, 22 communications were presented and the proportion between Woodcock and Snipe was  well balanced. Several topics were taken up: distribution, migration, morphology, genetics, monitoring and hunting management. A simultaneous  Russian-English translation facilitated discussions and exchanges among participants.A field trip along the Baltic coast allowed everyone to have a look on the forests and wetlands in the Leningrad region.

This workshop took place in a both serious and convivial atmosphere. The WSSG members were able  to better get to know each other and to strengthen  good relationships which could lead to future projects, especially in Russia, which is a key region for many migratory species in Europe.  This, of course, was one of the important objectives of this meeting.


Chair: Dr Yves Ferrand

E-mail : yves.ferrand@oncfs.gouv.fr