- Peter Glazov (1)
- Peng Gong (1)
- Herbert H.T. Prins (2)
- Marcel Klaassen (1)
- Andrea Koelzsch (1)
- Helmut Kruckenberg (1)
- Xueyan Li (1)
- Guanhua Liu (1)
- Hao Luo (1)
- G.J.D.M. Muskens (1)
- Yali Si (1)
- John Takekawa (1)
- Jie Wei (1)
- Ben Wielstra (1)
- Martin Wikelski (1)
- Fei Xu (1)
- Yanjie Xu (1)
- Wenyuan Zhang (1)
- Yong Zhang (2)
- Tao Zhang (1)
- Meijuan Zhao (2)
Spring migration patterns, habitat use, and stopover site protection status for two declining waterfowl species wintering in China as revealed by satellite tracking
Si, Yali ; Xu, Yanjie ; Xu, Fei ; Li, Xueyan ; Zhang, Wenyuan ; Wielstra, Ben ; Wei, Jie ; Liu, Guanhua ; Luo, Hao ; Takekawa, John ; Balachandran, Sivananintha ; Zhang, Tao ; Boer, Willem F. de; Prins, Herbert H.T. ; Gong, Peng - \ 2018
Ecology and Evolution 8 (2018)12. - ISSN 2045-7758 - p. 6280 - 6289.
Anser albifrons - Anser serrirostris - habitat selection - protected area - stopover site
East Asian migratory waterfowl have greatly declined since the 1950s, especially the populations that winter in China. Conservation is severely hampered by the lack of primary information about migration patterns and stopover sites. This study utilizes satellite tracking techniques and advanced spatial analyses to investigate spring migration of the greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons) and tundra bean goose (Anser serrirostris) wintering along the Yangtze River Floodplain. Based on 24 tracks obtained from 21 individuals during the spring of 2015 and 2016, we found that the Northeast China Plain is far-out the most intensively used stopover site during migration, with geese staying for over 1 month. This region has also been intensely developed for agriculture, suggesting a causal link to the decline in East Asian waterfowl wintering in China. The protection of waterbodies used as roosting area, especially those surrounded by intensive foraging land, is critical for waterfowl survival. Over 90% of the core area used during spring migration is not protected. We suggest that future ground surveys should target these areas to confirm their relevance for migratory waterfowl at the population level, and core roosting area at critical spring-staging sites should be integrated in the network of protected areas along the flyway. Moreover, the potential bird–human conflict in core stopover area needs to be further studied. Our study illustrates how satellite tracking combined with spatial analyses can provide crucial insights necessary to improve the conservation of declining Migratory species.
Data from: Towards a new understanding of migration timing: slower spring than autumn migration in geese reflects different decision rules for stopover use and departure
Koelzsch, Andrea ; Kruckenberg, Helmut ; Glazov, Peter ; Muskens, G.J.D.M. ; Wikelski, Martin - \ 2016
animal movement - animal tracking - Anser albifrons - Argos - avian migration - Env-DATA - GSM telemetry - Movebank - satellite telemetry - white-fronted geese
According to migration theory and several empirical studies, long-distance migrants are more time-limited during spring migration and should therefore migrate faster in spring than in autumn. Competition for the best breeding sites is supposed to be the main driver, but timing of migration is often also influenced by environmental factors such as food availability and wind conditions. Using GPS tags, we tracked 65 greater white-fronted geese Anser albifrons migrating between western Europe and the Russian Arctic during spring and autumn migration over six different years. Contrary to theory, our birds took considerably longer for spring migration (83 days) than autumn migration (42 days). This difference in duration was mainly determined by time spent at stopovers. Timing and space use during migration suggest that the birds were using different strategies in the two seasons: In spring they spread out in a wide front to acquire extra energy stores in many successive stopover sites (to fuel capital breeding), which is in accordance with previous results that white-fronted geese follow the green wave of spring growth. In autumn they filled up their stores close to the breeding grounds and waited for supportive wind conditions to quickly move to their wintering grounds. Selection for supportive winds was stronger in autumn, when general wind conditions were less favourable than in spring, leading to similar flight speeds in the two seasons. In combination with less stopover time in autumn this led to faster autumn than spring migration. White-fronted geese thus differ from theory that spring migration is faster than autumn migration. We expect our findings of different decision rules between the two migratory seasons to apply more generally, in particular in large birds in which capital breeding is common, and in birds that meet other environmental conditions along their migration route in autumn than in spring.
Variation in elevation and sward height facilitate coexistence of goose species through allometric responses in wetlands
Zhang, Yong ; Prins, Herbert H.T. ; Cao, Lei ; Zhao, Meijuan ; Boer, Fred de - \ 2016
Waterbirds 39 (2016)1. - ISSN 1524-4695 - p. 34 - 44.
Anser albifrons - Anser fabalis - Bean Goose - body size - forage quality - forage quantity - grassland - Greater White-fronted Goose - habitat selection - heterogeneity
Allometric scaling law predicts that herbivores respond differently to the availability of resources, mediated by body size. However, studies of allometric responses have often focused on animals with a relatively large difference in body size. Here, using a correlative field study, habitat use by two herbivorous species, the Bean Goose (Anser fabalis) and the Greater White-fronted Goose (A. albifrons), with a relatively small difference in body size was investigated during the wintering period. Both a generalized linear mixed model and a mixed logistic regression model showed that both species selected lower lying areas that were recently exposed, and, as expected, the smaller Greater White-fronted Goose showed a stronger selection of foraging habitat than the larger Bean Goose. Sward height also influenced habitat selection by both species, and the smaller species selected shorter swards than the larger species. In terms of forage quality, both models failed to detect a significant effect of nitrogen content on goose habitat selection. A logistic regression model showed that structural heterogeneity of the sward negatively correlated with the patch selection of the smaller species, but for the larger species such a correlation was not found. In agreement with our hypotheses, our results provide some preliminary indication that coexistence of the two goose species studied here might be mediated by an allometric response even if the difference in body size is relatively small.
Avoiding Competition? Site Use, Diet and Foraging Behaviours in Two Similarly Sized Geese Wintering in China
Zhao, Meijuan ; Cao, Lei ; Klaassen, Marcel ; Zhang, Yong ; Fox, Anthony D. - \ 2015
Ardea 103 (2015)1. - ISSN 0373-2266 - p. 27 - 38.
Anser albifrons - Anser fabalis - dietary composition - feeding ecology - interspecific competition
Competition may occur when two species with similar feeding ecologies exploit the same limited resources in time and space. In recent years, the Eastern Tundra Bean Goose Anser fabalis serrirostris and Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons frontalis have increased in wintering numbers at Shengjin Lake, China. To examine the potential for coexistence and possible avoidance strategies, we studied (1) their habitat use, (2) foraging behaviours and (3) diets of birds foraging in mixed- and single-species flocks. Both species extensively exploited sedge meadows, where they showed considerable overlap in spatial distribution and diet. The percentage feeding time and diet of both species were unaffected by the presence of the other. Greater White-fronted Geese appeared diurnal sedge meadow specialists, almost never feeding in other habitats. Eastern Tundra Bean Geese were less selective, exploiting other habitats, which they increasingly exploited at night in mid-winter. The use of alternative habitats and night feeding may have avoided interspecific competition. While the specialised feeding ecology of Greater White-fronted Geese may make them particularly vulnerable to loss of sedge meadow habitat, Eastern Tundra Bean Geese may be able to adjust because of their use of alternative habitats and a less restricted diet.