Satellite tracking of LWfG
by the LWfG LIFE project
The ringing site
The Valdak Marshes is situated within the Stabbursnes Nature Reserve (Poster PDF 150KB») in the Porsangen Fjord (Birdlife IBA NO0012»), Norway (see Europe map here»). It is an important staging ground for almost the entire Norwegian breeding population of Anser erythropus, both in spring (May-June) and autumn (August-September). The species having declined dramatically in Fennoscandia since the 1940s. The huge flocks of staging Calidris canutus in late May are also a spectacular sight, foraging on the sandbanks exposed at low tide before continuing their migration to Greenland and northern Canada.
The Stabbursnes Nature Reserve consists of 14 square km of water/mudflats and ca 2.2 square km of land. All human traffic is prohibited at Valdakmyra (part of the Nature Reserve, ca 3.5-4.0 square km) between 1 May and 30 June and 10 August - 20 September). The staging Anser erythropus have been monitored regularly since 1971, and yearly since 1990 by NOF».
|A male LWfG fitted with a 30gr solar GPS PTT at the Valdak Marshes in 2006 © Ingar J. Øien|
Ringing and PTT tagging
On 18 May 2006 a pair of Lesser White-fronted Goose were caught with a cannon-net at the Valdak Marshes. On 22 May another four adults and one young LWfG were caught.
The female in the pair caught on 18 May was equipped with a 20» gram PTT-100 satellite transmitter (ID 2209) while the male got an 30» gram solar Argos GPS PTT-100 satellite transmitters (ID 64248) from Microwave Telemetry, Inc». Only one adult male of the five LWfG caught on 22 May was equipped with a 30» gram solar Argos GPS PTT-100 satellite transmitters (ID 64249).
Latest 20 May 2007 The pair Finn and Nieida arrived at the Valdak Marshes on 18 May! None of them had visible antennas. Source: Ingar Øien & Tomas Aarvak /LWfG Life project team.
9 May 2007 No new locations since 24 April
24 April 2007, Nemunas Delta, Lithuania Finn was located on 22-24 April in the Nemunas Delta, Lithuania. The missing spring staging site of the Fennoscandian LWfG between Hungary and Estonia is finally located! On the way, Finn was located in flight in the morning of 18 April in the north-eastern corner Poland (ca 15 km north of Suwalki), and later during the same morning in Lithuania by the Nemunas river, by the border between Lithuania and the Kaliningrad region (Russia), ca 10 km west of the town Jubarkas. In the afternoon of 18 April Finn was staging in Lithuania by the Nemunas river, on the fields between the river and the town Papegiai. The Nemunas Delta has been known as a potential staging site of LWfG (for a summary of reported observations, see the Short news, pp 58-59» of the Annual report 1999» of the Fennoscandian LWfG conservation project), but there hasn't been any recent and unquestionable records to confirm this before now.
|Locations of Finn in the Nemunas Delta, Lithuania 22-24 April|
17 April 2007, Hortobágy, Hungary Finn and Nieida are still present in Hortobágy (locations of Finn on 12, 13 and 17 April), see Recent observations».
12 April 2007, Hortobágy, Hungary Finn and Nieida still present in Hortobágy in the morning, identified by colour rings, see Recent observations».
10 April 2007, Hortobágy, Hungary Finn was still located in Hortobágy on 9-10 April, but see also Recent observations» - part of the Hortobágy flock may already have continued the migration northwards.
3 April 2007, Hortobágy, Hungary Finn was still located in Hortobágy on 26 March - 3 April, see also Recent observations».
27 March 2007, Hortobágy, Hungary Finn was still located in Hortobágy (on the Hortobágy fishponds, and at Dinnyes Lapos) on 18-27 March.
March 2007, Hortobágy, Hungary Finn
was located in Hortobágy (on the Kondas fishpond, and on the
puszta just north of the fishpond) on 12-13 March. Also Nieida was seen
there on 20 March, see
for more details. Now it is confirmed that Nieida has got rid of her
transmitter; her back was properly seen, and there's no traces of the
7 March 2007, Greece The spring migration has started! On 7 March the male Finn was located at Lake Kerkini, Greece.
6 March 2007, Greece The Valdak pair is still at the Evros Delta: latest locations of the male Finn on 5-6 March. There's no successful locations of the transmitter of the female Nieida since November; this transmitter is lost. However Nieida is doing well, and she has been regularly seen (identified by the colour leg rings) at the Evros delta together with Finn.
21 February 2007, Greece The Valdak pair is still at the Evros Delta. See Recent observations» for more details.
6 February 2007, Greece The Valdak pair is still at the Evros Delta: latest location of the male Finn (64248) from there on 6 February. It seems likely that the transmitter of the female Nieida has fallen off. See Recent observations» for more details.
21 January 2007, Greece The Valdak pair is still at the Evros Delta: latest locations of the male Finn (64248) from there on 19-21 January. No successful locations of the transmitter of the female Nieida since November, but also Nieida was seen at Evros on 20 January, see Recent observations» for more details.
14 January 2007, Greece The Valdak pair is still at the Evros Delta: latest locations of the male Finn (64248) from there on 13 and 14 January. No successful locations of the transmitter of the female Nieida since November, but also Nieida has been regularly seen (identified by the colour leg rings) at the Evros delta in the beginning of January.
6 January 2007, Greece The Valdak pair is still at the Evros Delta: latest locations of the male Finn (64248) from there (traditional sites) on 5 and 6 January.
28 December 2006, Greece The Valdak pair has moved from Lake Kerkini to the Evros Delta. There are no recent satellite locations, but both the male Finn (64248) and the female Nieida (2209) were seen today and identified individually by the colour leg rings at the Evros Delta by Didier Vangeluwe, see the Recent observations».
19 December 2006, Greece The Valdak pair is still at Lake Kerkini. After a long period of radio silence the male Finn (64248) was located at the mouth of the river at 04:33 UTC in the morning. No LWfG have been observed yet this winter in the "final winter destination", the Evros Delta area, which is quite exceptional.
9 December 2006, Greece The Valdak pair is still at Lake Kerkini; seen by Thodoros Naziridis, see the Recent observations».
28 November 2006, Greece The Valdak pair is still at Lake Kerkini: During a meeting within the EU Life project the pair was observed within a flock of 42 lessers. The latest satellite locations is also from this date.
21 November 2006, Greece The Valdak pair is still at Lake Kerkini: the male 64248 (named as Finn) was located at the lake on 18-19 November, and both of the birds were also seen on 18 October, see the Recent observations».
10 November 2006, Greece The Valdak pair is still at Lake Kerkini. To our sorrow it now seems as the single male 64249 (named as Imre) has been shot. The latest GPS location came on 30 October from the middle of a small town ca 180 km NW of Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) in Russia.
28 October 2006, Greece The Valdak pair is back in Europe! On 28th October the female in the pair was plotted in Lake Kerkini, Greece. Today, on 1th November, 20 lesser white-fronted geese were oberved in the mouth of the river at Lake Kerkini (Birdlife IBA GR020») by Thodoros Naziridis. And, two of the birds had visible antennas!
|Migrations tracks per 1/11-06||Lake Kerkini , Greece|
25 October 2006, Russia It now seems as the migration routes for the birds from Fennoscandia and Polar Ural is dividing. On 24 October, the pair (male 64248 & female 2209) was located on the northwest side of the Asov Sea in Ukraine. We have so far received too few locations to evaluate exactly how they use the area, but the female was plotted on the northwest side on Lake Molochnoye, while the male had one location in the farmland areas just south of the city Astrakhanka (location of the city: 46.56N 35.38E).
|Migrations tracks per 24/10-06|
21 October 2006, Russia On 20 October, the pair (male 64248 & female 2209) was located at the same area (at Tsimlyansk Reservoir, Volgograd region, Russia) as the single Valdak male on 18 October.
18 October 2006, Kazakstan Around 12-13 October, northern Kazakstan got hard winter weather conditions with snow and temperatures below zero. This led to a mass southward movement of geese. The pair (male 64248 & female 2209) was on 11-12 October staging in Lake Ayke, but moved another 70 km southwest to the farmland areas in the border areas between Kazakstan and Russia. The data suggest that they often use Lake Shelkar-Igis-Kara on Russian side for roosting, while feeding on the Kazak side of the border.
The single male (64249) migrated from Lake Tontegir in Kazakstan, passing far north of the Caspian Sea and arrived in the Tsimlyansk Reservoir, Volgograd region, Russia, on 18 October. This is 200 km further north than the know staging areas in the Kuma-Manych depression. It now seems as this bird will continue westwards to the Black Sea and maybe even all the way to Greece and the Evros Delta.
|Migration track per 18/10-06||Tsimlyansk Reservoir, Volgograd Region, Russia. The red spot marks the location of the male (64249)|
12 October 2006, Kazakstan The pair (male 64248 & female 2209) was on 10 October plotted while migrating. They came from Lake Kak and flew over Lake Kindikti with a speed of 47 km/hour and were then plotted again 13 km southwest of Lake Kulykol at the border of Russia with a speed of 60 km/hour, still heading westwards. The next bout of locations in 5-6 days time will give us data on where they actually flew.
The single male (64249 ) is moving a lot between the lakes Tontegir, Biesoygan and Tyuntyugur (also within just one day). The distance between these lakes is only 25 km.
|Migration track per 12/10-06||Lake Kulykol|
5 October 2006, Kazakstan The pair (male 64248 & female 2209) has moved ca 45 km further north to Lake Kak, where they were located on 1-5 October. The male 64249 has moved from the Ob River valley, Russia ca 1000 km south to Kostanay region, Kazakstan: it was located at the Koybagar Lakes on 1-4 October. On the way, it had a short stop-over (29-30 September) at the lakes Maloye Stepnoye and Bolshoye Stepnoye in Kurganskaya region, Russia, ca 380 east of Chelyabinsk and ca 40 km north of the Kazakstan border.
28 September 2006, Russia/Kazakstan The pair (male 64248 & female 2209) has moved ca 40 km north, and they were located at the Lake Boszhakol in Kostanay region, north-westerern Kazakstan on 23-26 September. The male 64249 is still in the Ob River valley, Russia, in the same area where it was located on 20 September.
21 September 2006, Russia/Kazakstan The pair (male 64248 & female 2209) was located on the Koybagar Lakes in Kostanay region, north-western Kazakstan on 19-20 September. The male 64249 is still in the Ob River, moving just ca 80 km upstream (southwards). The pair from the Polar Ural has also moved to northern Kazakstan. For details see From Polar Ural in European Russia 2006»
|Migration track per 20/9-06||Northern Kazakstan 20/9||Lake Koybagar, Kazakstan|
18 September 2006, Russia The pair (male 64248 & female 2209) was still located in the Baydaratskaya Bay in the Kara Sea on 15 September. The male 64249 had an exploratory flight/trip (with successive small stops) of 230 km from 10 to 13 September before ending up at the same place it was located on 4 September.
|Migration track of male 64249 (red line)||The movements of the male as described above in the days 10-13 September|
07 September 2006, Russia The pair (male 64248 & female 2209) migrated further from the Vebarkapakha Bay on the west side of the Yamal Peninsula to Baydaratskaya Bay in the Kara Sea on 2 September. This site is just 45 km further north on the coast than where the pair from Polar Ural is staging at the moment (see map below). The male 64249 migrated on 3 September down to the Ob River to an area that is situated just 50 km further south than the area used by a bird in 2004 (id 10866 - see Day to day tracking results: autumn 2004 to autumn 2005»). The nearest village is Peregrebnoye.
|Migration tracks per 07 September 2006. The green arrow shows the track of the pair from polar Ural|
31 August 2006, Russia The pair (male 64248 & female 2209) flew further from Gydanskiy Peninsula and arrived in the Vebarkapakha Bay on the west side of the Yamal Peninsula on 29 August. The male 64249 is still located on the southwest side of the Yamal Peninsula.
|Migration track per 31 August 2006||Vebarkapakha Bay on the west side of the Yamal Peninsula.|
27 August 2006, Russia The autumn migration has started. All three birds have left the moulting areas on the Taimyr Peninsula. The pair (with male 64248 & female 2209) arrived during daytime at a small lake on the Gydanskiy Peninsula on 25 August. According to the GPS data from the male they flew 150 km south before they turned directly west to reach the lake. The male 64249 that stayed at the Pyasina River left Taimyr on 23 August and arrived on the southwest side of the Yamal Peninsula on 24 August.
|Migration track per 27 August 2006|
23 August 2006, Russia All three birds are still on the Taimyr Peninsula (the pair with male 64248 & female 2209 at Malaya Logata, and the male 64249 in Pyasina River). The birds have now finished moult. In the evening on 11th August the pair moved approximately 60 km downstream the Malaya Logata river (measured as straight distance), while male 64249 flew 65 km south to the Pyasina River on 19th August.
|The localization of the pair (male 64248 & female 2209) at Taimyr on 23 August|
27 July 2006, Russia All three birds are still on the Taimyr Peninsula (the pair with male 64248 & female 2209 at Malaya Logata, and the male 64249 in Pyasina Delta area), seemingly going through the moult.
13 July 2006, Norway - Russia The pair (male 64248 & female 2209) left the breeding areas in Finnmark on 6 July and arrived at the Malaya Logata River on the Taimyr Peninsula on 8 July. This is an amazing moult migration since the female at the time of catching was already colour ringed and know to follow the south-western migration route down to the Evros Delta in Greece. A map with migration tracks will be made available later.
10 July 2006, Norway The male 64249 left the breeding area in Finnmark on 29 June and arrived at the Taimyr Peninsula on 6 July. Along the way it had short stopovers at the coast of the Kola Peninsula, the Kanin Peninsula, the Malosemelskaya Tundra, Bolshesemelskaya Tundra and the Gydanskiy Bay. On 7 July it was located in the Pyasina River Delta on the Taimyr Peninsula.
26 May 2006, Norway All three birds are now located in the core breeding area (male 64248 & female 2209 and male 64249).
24 May 2006, Norway The pair (male 64248 & female 2209) is now in the core breeding area in Finnmark, while the male (64249) was last located on the Valdak Marshes on 23 May.
20 May 2006 Valdak Marshes, Norway The pair (male 64248 & female 2209) is still present at the staging ground.
Various news coverage of the present project
Updates? The pages will be updated regularly as the transmitters are set to transmit every 3-7 days. We will not release any data which could reveal the breeding areas, so the pages will not be updated so often during summer if the pair is breeding. However, if the pair is unsuccessful and migrate out of the breeding areas during summer, the pages will be updated accordingly.
© The material on the present page concerning satellite telemetry on Lesser White-fronted Geese and the results presented are copyrighted by the Fennoscandian Lesser White-fronted Goose Conservation Project and shall not be reproduced by any means without written permission. Contact Tomas Aarvak for details.
The project is financed by the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management and the EU-LIFE programme.
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