The breeding biology of Dark-bellied Brent Geese Branta b. bernicla and King Eiders Somateria spectabilis on the northeastern Taimyr Peninsula, especially in relation to Snowy Owl Nyctea scandiaca nests

R W Summers, L G Underhill, E E Syroechkovski, Jr, H G Lappo, R P Prŷs-Jones, V Karpov


It was established that Brent geese nesting in the northeastern Taimyr Peninsula belong to the nominate race Branta bernicla bernicla. Brent Geese and King Eiders were found nesting close to Snowy Owl nests during the lemming peak of 1991. All nested successfully. It is believed that the waterfowl benefited from the aggressive nature of the Snowy Owls which exclude predators such as Arctic Foxes from hunting close to their nests. This situation was first described for B. b. nigricans which breeds exclusively near Snowy Owl nests on Wrangel Island. As Snowy Owls breed primarily when lemmings are abundant, the Brent Geese on Wrangel Island and the mainland of the northeastern Taimyr Peninsula are indirectly dependent on the lemmings.

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