Deaths of wild White-fronted Geese at Slimbridge in January 1963

J V Beer, H Boyd


Heavy and persistent snow cover caused a serious shortage of food for White-fronted Geese in England and Wales from late December, 1962, to February, 1963. Fifteen Whitefronts found dead or dying at Slimbridge in January were all underweight and at least four had died from starvation. Recoveries of ringed birds show a similar concentration of losses in mid-January elsewhere in England and Wales, with an exceptional proportion of geese 'found dead' as well as unusually heavy shooting casualties. Recoveries from the Netherlands and France were also exceptionally numerous but do not show marked grouping in mid-January, perhaps because of emergency legal restrictions imposed in those countries.

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