Portal to the Lesser White-fronted Goose

- by the Fennoscandian Lesser White-fronted Goose project

Literature type: General

Journal: Die Vogelwelt

Volume: 141 , Pages: 101-110

Language: English

Full reference: Kruckenberg, H. & Krüger, T. 2023. Current status of the Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus in Northwest Germany (Lower Saxony and Bremen), an important stop-over and wintering area. Die Vogelwelt: 141, 101-110

Keywords: reintrodcution, hunting, Germany, numbers, distribution


Since the 1950s Lesser White-fronted Geese Anser erythropus decreased dramatically all over the wide-spread breeding area (Mikander 2015). Nowadays Lesser Whitefronts are one of the most endangered waterbird species in Europe (BirdLife International 2015). Krüger & Kruckenberg (2011) could show that the species has been frequently observed in Lower Saxony since the beginning of the 20th century. From 2012-2015 a research project of NABU Lower Saxony intensively investigated the importance of Northwest Germany for this species. As a result we present new and supplemented data on the occurrence of Lesser White-fronts in Lower-Saxony for the period 1980–2016. In this period, a strong increase in the number of observations occurred, such that Lesser White-fronted Goose has stated as a regular, annually occurring migratory bird in Lower Saxony. The number of observations in Lower Saxony peaked in the years of 1999/2000 to 2007/08 and decreased thereafter. A clear pattern in spatial distribution can be identified in the northwest of Lower Saxony in the region of East Frisia. This includes the Dollard-Lower Ems-Region (Rheiderland, Emsmarschen) with the Krummhörn, including Leybucht, which are key sites for the species. Other important sites are the Middle Elbe and the Lower Elbe. Unfortunately, information about the origin of the birds is rare. More than half of the Swedish Lesser Whitefronts are colour-marked, but the occurrence of many unmarked birds presumably consists of a mixture of Russian and Norwegian birds. Taken together all data show Lower Saxony (Northwest Germany) as a part of the range of Lesser White-fronted Geese migrate to The Netherlands and probably also for wintering individuals. So, this should be incorporate in legislative protection (f.e. key species in Bird sanctuaries or hunting regulation).

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