Researcher following geese migration
White-fronted geese have left wintering areas so far. Now, European goose researchers pick up their backpacking to follow the geese into the breeding grounds. In 2006 three expeditions were initiated by the European Whitefronted Research Programme. Two investigations focussed on the breeding biology and ringing of birds on the breeding grounds. One study examined an important stopover site in Russia (Olonetz Fields, Karelia).
In 2007 we`ll investigate again the important summer areas. So, the German-Russian team will go to Kolguev again, but will go more to the center of the island, this time. The Dutch-Russian team will return to Taimyr again and keeps on marking moulting WFGs there. Additionally some research will be done in the Olonetz Fields by our Russian collegues again.
Stepping stones to arctic: Olonets fields
[Translate to english:] Das Vogelschutzgebiet "Olonetz Fields" am Ostufer des Ladoga-Sees in Karelien ist ein wichtiges Zwischenrastgebiet für die durchziehenden arktischen Gänse im westlichen Russland. Der größte See Europas ist ein attraktiver Schlafplatz für die Gänse, die landwirtschaftlichen Nutzflächen stellen optimale Nahrungsflächen in der ansonsten von Wäldern und Mooren dominierten Taiga dar.
Ende April bis Mitte Mai 2006 sowie im folgenden Frühjahr konnten wir hier wichtige Untersuchungen zur Bedeutung dieses Rastgebietes durchführen. Lesen Sie mehr.
Stepping stone in central Russia: Kologriv
Kostroma is a small nationalparc approximatly 300km away from Moscow. In this area goose hunting is banned and staging geese are relatily tame to humans. Along the river geese were caught by Russian collegues during the last years. But this plcaes allows also to read neckbands of all birds using this stepping stone area on their migration. Read more about Kologriv.
Breeding biology studies - Kolguev Island
Far away of all human settlements, 90km north of Russian mainland and place in the Barents Sea, there is Kolguev Island, an island half the size of Belgium. 30% of all western palearctic Whitefronts and approximatly 25% of Russian Barnacle geese breed here. Kolguev is for geese very famous: mild temperature during arctic summer, lots of lakes, ponds and swamps for the geese and mosquitoes are a species rare in number. A patchy mosaic of different habitats allows the birds to change to the most suitable ones. Furthermore: there are no lemmings on Kolguev. In the years 2006-2008 and 2011/12 we were able to study geese breeding biology on the special island. Read more about our expeditions.
All geese meet together for moulting - Taimyr
On the very east edge of breeding range you`ll find Taimyr-Penninsula, placed east of the Jenessij mouth. Here, where Brent and Red-breasted Geese breeding, lays one of the biggest moulting sites of Whitefronted geese. Molting is the term that is given to the 8-10 week flightless period when geese shed their outer wing feathers and regrow new ones. Molting occurs between mid-June through August; and most birds are able to fly again by mid-August.
Several hundredthousand of geese gather end of June together due to suitable vegetation which allows them to build up new wing feathers with enormous growth speed. While their studies on Brent goose our Dutch collegues of Alterra Institut collected important data of Whitefronts, too, and marked more than 400 birds. Read more here.
International Polar Year 2007 / 2008
First time since 50 years the scientific community comes together again for an International Polar Year. During two arctic summers a large number of international arctic research project will work together to find out more about climate change in the arctic and changes in biodiversity. Of course, Whitefronted Goose researchers take part in this international programme.
To read more about the IPY klick here.