Portal to the Lesser White-fronted Goose

- by the Fennoscandian Lesser White-fronted Goose project

Literature type: Scientific

Journal: Ecology and Evolution

Volume: 2021;00 , Pages: 1-14.

DOI: 10.1002/ece3.7310

Language: English

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Full reference: Tian, H., Solovyeva, d., Danilov, G., Vartanyan, S., Wen,L., Lei, J., Lu, C., Bridgewater, P., Lei, G. & Zeng, Q. 2021. Combining modern tracking data and historical records improves understanding of the summer habitats of the Eastern Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus. Ecology and Evolution 2021;00: 1-14. https://www.dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.7310

Keywords: Asia, Arctic, eastern population, GPS tracking, Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus, species distribution modeling, summer range

Abstract:

The Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus), smallest of the “gray” geese, is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and protected in all range states. There are three populations, with the least studied being the Eastern population, shared between Russia and China. The extreme remoteness of breeding enclaves makes them largely inaccessible to researchers. As a substitute for visitation, remotely tracking birds from wintering grounds allows exploration of their summer range. Over a period of three years, and using highly accurate GPS tracking devices, eleven individuals of A. erythropus were tracked from the key wintering site of China, to summering, and staging sites in northeastern Russia. Data obtained from that tracking, bolstered byground survey and literature records, were used to model the summer distribution of A. erythropus. Although earlier literature describes a patchy summer range, the model suggests a contiguous summer habitat range is possible, although observations to date cannot confirm A. erythropus is present throughout the modeled range. The most suitable habitats are located along the coasts of the Laptev Sea, primarily the Lena Delta, in the Yana-Kolyma Lowland, and smaller lowlands of Chukotka with narrow riparian extensions upstream along major rivers such as the Lena, Indigirka,and Kolyma. The probability of A. erythropus presence is related to areas with altitude less than 500 m with abundant wetlands, especially riparian habitat, and a climate with precipitation of the warmest quarter around 55 mm and mean temperature around 14°C during June-August. Human disturbance also affects site suitability, with a gradual decrease in species presence starting around 160 km from human settlements. Remote tracking of animal species can bridge the knowledge gap required for robust estimation of species distribution patterns in remote areas. Better knowledge of species' distribution is important in understanding the large-scale ecological consequences of rapid global change and establishing conservation management strategies.

Literature type: Scientific

Journal: Wildfowl

Volume: SpecIs 6 , Pages: 206–243.

Language: English

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Full reference: Ao, P., Wang, X., Solovyeva, D., Meng, F., Ikeuchi, T., Shimada, T., Park, J., Gao, D., Liu, G., Hu, B., Natsagdorj, T., Zheng, B., Vartanyan, S., Davaasuren, B., Zhang, J., Cao, L. & Fox, A. 2021. Rapid decline of the geographically restricted and globally threatened Eastern Palearctic Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus. Wildfowl SpecIs 6: 206–243.

Keywords: abundance, key sites, migration routes, population trends, telemetry tracking

Abstract:

The Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus, which breeds across northern Eurasia from Norway to Chukotka, is globally threatened and is currently classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Eastern Palearctic population of the species was thought to breed in arctic Russia, from east of the Taimyr Peninsula to Chukotka, and to winter in East Asia, but its precise status, abundance, breeding and wintering ranges, and migration routes were largely unknown, reducing the effectiveness of conservation efforts. In this paper, we combined results from satellite tracking, field surveys, a literature review and expert knowledge, to present an updated overview of the winter distribution and abundance of Lesser White-fronted Geese in the Eastern Palearctic, highlighting their migration corridors, habitat use and the conservation status of the key sites used throughout the annual cycle. Improved count coverage puts the Eastern Palearctic Lesser White-fronted Geese population at c. 6,800 birds in 2020, which represents a rapid and worrying decline since the estimate of 16,000 in 2015, as it suggests at least a halving of numbers in just five years. East Dongting Lake (Hunan Province) in China is the most important wintering site for the species in East Asia, followed by Poyang Lake (Jiangxi Province) and Caizi Lake (Anhui Province), with one key wintering site in Miyagi County in Japan. Satellite tracking showed that eight individuals captured during summer on the Rauchua River, Chukotka, Russia wintered in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River floodplain in China. Their migration speed was slower in spring than in autumn, mainly because of longer stopover duration at staging sites in spring. The tracked geese mainly used cultivated land on migration stopovers (52% in spring; 45% in autumn), tundra habitat in summer (63%), and wetlands (66%) in winter. Overall, 87% of the GPS fixes were in protected areas during the winter, far greater than in spring (37%), autumn (28%) and summer (7%). We urge more tracking of birds of differing wintering and breeding provenance to provide a fuller understanding of the migration routes, staging sites and breeding areas used by the geese, including for the birds wintering in Japan. The most urgent requirement is to enhance effective conservation and long-term monitoring of Lesser White-fronted Geese across sites within China, and particularly to improve our understanding of the management actions needed to maintain the species. Collaboration between East Asian countries also is essential, to coordinate monitoring and to formulate effective protection measures for safeguarding this population in the future.

Literature type: Scientific

Journal: Wildfowl

Volume: 68 , Pages: 44-69.

Language: English

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Full reference: Cuthbert, R.J., Aarvak, T., Boros, E., Eskelin, T., Fedorenko, V., Karvonen, R., Kovalenko, A., Lehikoinen, S., Petkov, N., Szilágy, A., Tar, J., Timonen, S., Timoshenko, A., Zhadan, K. & Zuban, I. 2018. Estimating the autumn staging abundance of migratory goose species in northern Kazakhstan. Wildfowl 68: 44-69.

Keywords: Anser erythropus, Branta ruficollis, flyway population estimates, sampling methodology.

Abstract:

Northern Kazakhstan and adjoining areas of Russia have vitally important autumn staging sites for arctic breeding geese, especially for the globally threatened Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus (LWfG) and Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis (RbG). Part of the Fennoscandian and the entire Western Main subpopulations of LWfG and the global population of RbGs are believed to stage there, which facilitates obtaining up-to-date population estimates for these species. A total of 80 lakes were surveyed across four survey areas in autumn 2016, recording more than 1.2 million geese in the region. Greater White-fronted Geese Anser albifrons (GWfG) were the most abundant with an estimated c. 890,000 birds, with counts of c. 250,000 Greylag Geese Anser anser, c. 53,000 Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea, c. 39,100 RbG and c. 32,000 LWfG also recorded during the surveys. Based on a priori lake classification for both LWfG and RbG, to stratify survey lakes in order to generate total population estimates, survey teams visited a sample of different lake types. After removing lakes smaller than the observed minimum lake size used by each species, the total number of potential lakes available within the core staging areas of each species (335 lakes of > 320 ha for LWfG; 361 lakes of > 100 ha for RbG) was calculated. Bootstrapping procedures, with replacement, were then used to estimate the total numbers likely to be present in the region. These calculations produced total estimates of 34,250 birds (95% confidence intervals = 28,500–40,100 birds) for the Western Main population of LWfG (well in excess of current population estimates of 8,000–13,000 individuals) and an estimated population of 50,100 RbG (95% CI = 28,100–72,600 birds), broadly similar to recent population estimates of 55,000–57,000. We recommend that future surveys continue to monitor as large a region and as many lakes as possible in order to capture inter-annual variation in the distribution of birds and to provide more reliable assessments of population size and trends of these migratory species.

Literature type: Rep.article

Language: English

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Full reference: Aarvak, T., Øien, I.J. & Morozov, V.V. 2018. Western main Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus. , Pp. 43-44 in Fox, A.D. & Leafloor, J.O. (eds.). A Global Audit of the Status and Trends of Arctic and Northern Hemisphere Goose Populations (Component 2: Population accounts). CAFF: Akureyri, Iceland. ISBN 978-9935-431-74-5.

Keywords: population status, Wester main, Russia

Literature type: Rep.article

Language: English

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Full reference: Aarvak, T. & Øien, I.J. 2018. Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus - Fennoscandian population. , Pp. 40-42 in Fox, A.D. & Leafloor, J.O. (eds.). A Global Audit of the Status and Trends of Arctic and Northern Hemisphere Goose Populations (Component 2: Population accounts). CAFF: Akureyri, Iceland. ISBN 978-9935-431-74-5.

Keywords: population status, Fennoscandia, Norway

Literature type: Scientific

Journal: Science of the Total Environment

Volume: 527–528 , Pages: 279–286.

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.04.083

Language: English

Full reference: Aloupi, M., Kazantzidis, S., Akriotis, T., Bantikou, E. & Hatzidaki, V.-O. 2015. Lesser White-fronted (Anser erythropus) and Greater White-fronted (A. albifrons) Geese wintering in Greek wetlands are not threatened by Pb through shot ingestion. Science of the Total Environment 527–528: 279–286. https://www.dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.04.083

Keywords: Non-invasive monitoring, Soil ingestion, Pb–Al relationship, Anser albifrons, Anser erythropus, Lead shot, Greece, hunting,

Abstract:

Fecal lead (Pb) levels were investigated in the threatened European population of the Lesser White-fronted Goose (LWfG, Anser erythropus) and of the non-threatened Greater White-fronted Goose (GWfG, Anser albifrons) wintering in two wetland areas in northern Greece in order to assess the potential risk from Pb exposure. Fecal, soil and food plant samples were analyzed. Levels of Pb were normalized using Al concentrations in order to sep-arate the effect of possible ingestion of Pb shot from that of soil or sediment accidentally ingested with food. All concentrations are expressed on a dry weight basis. Geometric means of Pb content in the feces of LWfG were 6.24 mg/kg at Evros Delta and 7.34 mg/kg at Lake Kerkini (maximum values of 28.61 mg/kg and 36.68 mg/kg, re-spectively); for fecal samples of GWfG geometric means were 2.39 mg/kg at Evros Delta and 6.90 mg/kg at Kerkini (corresponding maximum values of 25.09 mg/kg and 42.26 mg/kg). Soil Pb was in the range of 5.2–60.2 mg/kg (geometric mean = 22.6 mg/kg) for the Evros Delta and between 13.4 and 64.9 mg/kg (geometric mean = 28.1 mg/kg) for Kerkini. A general linear model fitted to the data showed that Pb levels were very closely dependent on Al levels in the feces from both species and at both sites indicating soil or sediment were the only significant source of Pb; species and site, as well as their interaction, were not statistically significant factors. For both species and at both sites exposure to Pb was evidently very mild and the observed levels of Pb were well below the proposed thresholds for lethal or sublethal effects of Pb poisoning. Soil ingestion appeared to gradually increase from October to De-cember for LWfG at Kerkini, corresponding to a gradual depletion of their food source.

Literature type: General

Journal: Indian Birds

Volume: 9 , Pages: 148–149.

Language: English

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Full reference: Shreeram M. V., & Deomurari, A. 2014. Record of Lesser- Anser erythropus and Greater- White-fronted Geese A. albifrons from Gujarat, India. Indian Birds: 9, 148–149.

Keywords: observation, India

Literature type: Action Plan

Language: Estonian (In Estonian & English)

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Full reference: Toming, M. 2012. Väike-laukhani ja tema kaitse Eestis. [Lesser White-fronted Goose and its conservation in Estonia.] , Hirundo Supplementum 11. 62 pp.

Keywords: Action Plan, Estonia, Anser erythropus, monitoring, threats, measures

Literature type: General

Journal: Podoces

Volume: 6 , Pages: 123-125.

Language: English

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Full reference: Mansoori, J. & Amini, H. 2011. Current Status of the Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus in Iran. Podoces: 6, 123-125.

Keywords: Iran, occurrence, decline, Miankaleh, winter

Abstract:

The Lesser White-fronted Goose is a species of conservation concern and considered to be globally threatened with extinction. Since the 1960s, the species has been reported from a total of 22 sites throughout Iran, but in the period 1992–2008, mid-winter counts of the species were received from only 16 sites. The status of the species in Iran is reviewed, and a map has been prepared showing the location of all the sites at which the species has been recorded. The highest number of birds recorded in Iran since the 1960s was a flock of 6,650 individuals in Miankaleh Protected Area in December 1972, while in 2007 and 2008, the total numbers recorded in Iran were only 264 and 26 individuals respectively.

Literature type: Scientific

Journal: Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde A, Neue Serie

Volume: 3 , Pages: 347-362.

Language: English

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Full reference: Ellrott, C. & Schmitz, G. 2009. Skull identification key for Central European waterfowl (Aves: Anseriformes: Anatidae). Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde A, Neue Serie 3: 347-362.

Keywords: Anser erythropus, morphology

Number of results: 13