Campbell Island SnipeCampbell's Snipe
Campbell Island Snipe - Fauna Recovery New Zealand
The New Zealand snipes are deserted on the continent, but some still live on mainly subantarctic isles. Campbell Island Snipe is one of the world' s most rare and least known avifauna. The crew arrived on Jacquemart Island, a 19-hectare pile off the southern shore of Campbell Island, with skilled avian tracking hounds.
But they were amazed when they found a snipe, and they managed to catch one. He was barely able to feed more than 30 species of bird, which immediately put the little snipe in the threatened area. Adjoining Campbell Island is much larger than Jacquemart, and it was wiped out by 2001 by the last snipe on Campbell in the mid-18th century.
The hope was that Campbell Island Snipe could be returned from its last sanctuary in Jacquemart, either through nature's recolonization or through man's intrusion. At the beginning of 2006, snipe experts Dr. Colin Miskelly, James Fraser and the snipehound Percy examined an area of Campbell Island to see if a snipe had been recovered and to obtain some specimens for genetic testing to help describe this little-known avian.
There were hopes that they would receive enough information to warrant a posting of Jacquemart, but what they have found has all blown away. The snipe had already reached Campbell Island and they were growing. It may already have about 30 snipes and another 11,000 ha of rat-free habitats.
Supported by Fauna Recovery New Zealand ($9,300). Now Colin Miskelly and his scientists have finished the work on the new snipe and placed it as a subset of the subantartic snipe, Coenocorypha àucklandica endurance. This sub-species's name accurately depicts a birds that stayed on a small island for so long, and also nods to the endurance harbor, the first place on Campbell to be resettled.
Perseverance was the vessel that in 1810 bore the explorer of the island of Campbell, and it probably bore the scurvy rat.