Portal to the Lesser White-fronted Goose

- by the Fennoscandian Lesser White-fronted Goose project

Literature type: Report

Language: Norwegian In norwegian with english summary

External Link:


Full reference: Stokke, B.G., Hamre, Ø., May, R., Molværsmyr, S., Nilsson, A.L.K. & Pavón-Jordán, D. 2024. 420 kV Skaidi-Lebesby – radar-undersøkelser av flygeaktivitet hos dverggås og tundrasædgås ved Stabbursneset, Porsanger. [420 kV Skaidi-Lebesby – radar surveys of flight activity in Lesser-white fronted geese and Tundra bean geese at Stabbursneset, Porsanger.] , NINA rapport 2334. Norsk institutt for naturforskning.

Keywords: flight activity, avian radar, power lines, collision, Finnmark, Norway, Valdakmyra


In 2022 and 2023, an avian radar was utilized to investigate flight activity of lesser white-fronted geese (Anser erythropus) and tundra bean-geese (Anser serrirostris) at Stabbursneset, Porsanger, in Finnmark, Northern Norway. The Ramsar site Valdakmyra, which is situated in this area, is an important stopover site for lesser white-fronted geese on their way to their breeding areas in the spring, and to their wintering areas in the autumn. Lesser white-fronted geese flying westwards to their breeding areas followed a quite narrow route along a creek in the southern part of Valdakmyra. The tundra bean-geese utilized a much larger part of the area, following both an east-west and a south-north flight route. Geese that returned from the west did not seem to follow a specific route and arrived at rather high altitudes before landing at Valdakmyra. Statnett SF is planning to build a new 420 kV power line in a north-south direction west of Val-dakmyra. There exist three alternative routes: 1) just west of Valdakmyra (the “eastern” alterna-tive), 2) replacing an already existing 132 kV power line (the “central” alternative), and 3) further towards west (the “western” alternative). Both radar data and visual observations disclosed that both species crossed all the three alternative routes on their way from Valdakmyra and back. The “eastern” alternative is not recommended since geese regularly passed at low altitudes re-sulting in high collision risk. The two other alternatives are assessed to be better choices to reduce collision risk, because individuals that departed Valdakmyra gained height as they flew westwards. In most cases the geese passed the two alternative power line routes at safe heights. Similarly, geese that returned from the west lost height as they approached Valdakmyra. It is important to note that two years of data collection cannot exclude the possibility that other flight routes may be important in a longer time perspective. The most energy efficient flight routes may for instance be influenced by weather conditions, which of course may vary between years. In addition, a substantial part of the flight tracks was not recorded by the radar due to clutter, poor weather conditions, etc, resulting in suboptimal assessment of the collision risk at especially the ”western” power line alternative. It is highly recommended that a possible new power line is marked with bird diverters to reduce collision risk, and that regular searches for collision victims are undertaken.

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