Bar-headed Geese Anser indicus wintering in South-central Tibet

Mary A Bishop, Song Yanling, Canjue Zhouma, Gu Binyuan


We collected information on the status and distribution of Bar-headed Geese and Ruddy Shelduck, concurrently with surveys for endangered Black-necked Cranes in south-central Tibet, People's Republic of China. Surveys were conducted during six winters: 1990-91 through 195-96. The highest estimated count for Bar-headed Geese was in December 1993 when 10,934 geese were observed. However, this survey excluded three known wintering areas. We estimate there are 13,000-14,500 Bar-headed Geese wintering in south-central Tibet, representing at least 25% of the estimated world population. Approximately 70% winter in two areas: Shigatse, around the confluence of the Nyang and Yarlung Rivers; and, Penbo River valley, north-east of Lhasa. The distribution of Ruddy Shelduck overlapped with Bar-headed Geese in all areas surveyed. Shelducks occurred in lower numbers than the geese, with the highest survey producing 3,836. The largest concentrations of Ruddy Shelduck occurred along the Penbo River valley.

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