Navigation Links
Spring migration of pink-footed geese under threat

As thousands of pink-footed geese (Anser brachyrhynchus) prepare for their spring migration north to breeding grounds in the Arctic, ecologists are warning that the escalating conflict between farmers and the geese is threatening the birds' survival. Writing in the new issue of the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology, Professor Marcel Klaassen of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology says that international action is urgently required.

Farmers in northern- and mid-Norway are threatening to scale up efforts to scare the birds off their fields, which the geese use as a staging post on their migration north, unless they are compensated for the damage to crops and grassland.

Together with colleagues in Denmark and Norway, Klaassen used data from ringed geese collected between 1991 and 2003 to model the impact of organised scaring of pink-footed geese. They found that any rapid escalation of bird scaring could be catastrophic for the birds, especially for less experienced individuals.

According to Klaassen: "The model predicts that if scaring on a large scale is implemented abruptly, it will have severe consequences for the population because the geese will not have time to adjust their behaviour to their dramatically changed environment. We are already seeing signs of decreasing annual breeding success and decreased summer survival as a result of poor body condition when the geese depart from the spring staging areas. Our model shows that naïve geese have much lower fitness than experienced geese, which are able to anticipate and adapt to changes in their environment."

There are two discrete populations of pink-footed goose: the Greenland/Iceland population, which breeds in Iceland and Greenland and overwinters in Britain; and the Svalbard population. The Svalbard group overwinters in Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands and migrates to breeding grounds in Svalbard (an archipelago hundreds of miles off the north coast o f Norway) in spring. On their migratory route north, the geese stop to feed on sheep pastures and emerging crops at Vesterålen in northern Norway so that they arrive in Svalbard in good enough condition to breed successfully.

Populations of the goose have almost doubled over the past twenty years, from between 23,000 and 30,000 in the 1980s to 45,000 today. This growth, coupled with loss of natural habitats, has forced geese to break their migration on farmland, and into conflict with farmers.

"While conditions on the breeding grounds have generally remained unaffected by human activities, the staging and wintering grounds have undergone dramatic changes as a result of human development. As a result, most wintering populations have changed from feeding on natural or semi-natural habitats to agricultural land," Klaassen says.

As well as helping to develop strategies to manage the conflict between farmers and geese, Klaassen's model could help ecologists predict how other species might respond to climate change. According to Klaassen: "We need tools to predict how organisms will respond to local and global changes, and such tools would be particularly useful if they could take into account adaptive behaviour. In the case of migratory birds, the implications of environmental change may be particularly difficult to predict because these animals use a succession of sites during their annual cycle."


'"/>

Source:Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Related biology news :

1. Lighting up life: Cold Spring Harbor Protocols presents tips for creating glowing plants
2. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
3. Butterfly migration could be largest known
4. Pair of cancer genes found to drive both cell migration and division
5. Leprosy genome tells story of human migrations, French researchers report in Science
6. New analysis shows three human migrations out of Africa
7. Study reveals mass migration of mormon crickets driven by hunger, fear
8. A dichotomy in migration patterns found for sea turtles in east Atlantic
9. Research links protein to breast-cancer migration
10. Dragonfly migration resembles that of birds, scientists say
11. Viral marker of human migration suspect
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/10/2016)... 10, 2016 --> ... report "Identity and Access Management Market by Component (Provisioning, ... Governance), by Organization Size, by Deployment, by Vertical, and ... MarketsandMarkets, The market is estimated to grow from USD ... 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... 9, 2016 This BCC Research report provides ... the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) market for the years ... tools and reagents, data analysis, and services. ... the RNA-Sequencing market such as RNA-Sequencing tools and reagents, ... factors affecting each segment and forecast their market growth, ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... March 9, 2016  Crossmatch ® , a ... solutions, today announced the addition of smart features ... multi-factor authentication platform. New contextual and application-specific ... step-up security where it,s needed most — while ... DC . --> Washington, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Proove Biosciences, Inc ., the commercial ... of the Proove Health Foundation . The Foundation is a non-profit organization ... of personalized medicine for tackling the nation’s most-pressing healthcare epidemics. As part of ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... ... Intelligent Implant Systems announced today that the two-level components for the Revolution™ ... States. These components expand the capabilities of the system and allow Revolution™ to ... of 2015, the company has seen significant sales growth in 1Q 2016, and the ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... Next week on May ... its first-in-class technologies for tissue stem cell counting and expansion to gene-editing scientists ... Reprogramming & CRISPR-based Genome Engineering in Burlington, Massachusetts. , The attention of most ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... ... The Pittcon Organizing Committee is pleased to announce that Charles “Chuck” Gardner was ... since 1987. Since then, he has served in a number of key leadership positions ... the program and exposition committees. In his professional career, Dr. Gardner is the director ...
Breaking Biology Technology: