Preliminary results of the tracking of White-fronted geese
Since 2006, a total of 24 White-fronted geese have been equipped with satellite transmitters. We were able to follow them over a long period of time, until they were with their broods or on moulting grounds. There are already some analyses and publications on this project.
Satellite tracking of White-fronted geese during the spring migrations of 2006 and 2007
In January and February 2006, five White-fronted geese (Anser albifrons) were equipped with satellite-transmitters in The Netherlands. The intention was to collect data about habitat use, especially in spring on their wintering-grounds in agricultural grasslands, in order to determine exactly the migration routes to the breeding-grounds and to locate nesting and moulting-areas. Modern satellite-transmitters with GPS-function and solar panels make it possible to collect regular fixes with an accuracy of within 20 meters, as well as speed and flight-altitude. Naturally, however, such transmitters only work properly when there is adequate sunlight.
In 2006, only one of the five transmittered geese reached its nesting-grounds, but he was lost on the return trip in autumn in Poland. The other four geese had already disappeared in the spring on their way to the breeding-grounds; some of these geese were killed by hunters. In spite of these disappointments, knowledge of parts of the flyway became much clearer and so the results and technical experiences of this pilot-study could be the basis for a bigger experiment in the spring of 2007.
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