Survival of Greenland White-fronted Geese

Hugh Boyd


The annual survival rate of Greenland White-fronts more than two years old is estimated at 66%, apparently rather less than that of European White-fronts (72%), Pinkfeet (74%) and Greylags (77%). Losses of ringed juveniles in the first year after marking may amount to as much as 46%, and those in the second year of life to about 43%. Nearly all the reported losses are due to man. Most occur between October and February (in Ireland) and in July (in Greenland). The White-front population breeds along the west coast of Greenland from about 64 N. to 7230' N. Ringing has been done in sixteen places widely scattered over the breeding range. Recoveries show that the geese breeding north of 69 N. concentrate in winter in Co. Wexford, while those breeding farther south are scattered widely in Ireland. The northern breeding population is apparently increasing, but the existing data are insufficient to show whether this is due to smaller adult losses than those suffered by the southern breeding birds or to greater breeding success. Continued ringing should solve this problem.

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