Numbers and distribution of wild geese in The Netherlands, 1979-1984

Barwolt Ebbinge, Leo van den Bergh, Anton van Haperen, Martin Lok, Jules Philippona, Jan Rooth, Arend Timmerman


This paper deals with the numbers of wild geese in The Netherlands during the period 1979-84. This period comprises four mild winters and one cold winter, 1981-2. The cold resulted in a higher number of both Bean Goose Anser fabalis subspecies, a lower number of Dark-bellied Brent Geese Branta b. bernicla and an influx of small but unusual numbers of Light-bellied Brent Geese B. b. hrota. Moreover all other wintering species of geese tended to shift to the snow-free southwestern, and mildest, part of the country during the cold spell. When compared with the previous five-year period the four Anser species (Greylag A. anser, Whitefront A. albifrons, Bean and Pinkfoot A. brachyrhynchus) have further increased by 50-80%, whereas the two Branta species showed an increase of 13% in the Barnacle Goose B. leucopsis and 39% in the Brent.

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