Portal to the Lesser White-fronted Goose

- by the Fennoscandian Lesser White-fronted Goose project

Satellite telemetry

A basic need in the struggle to save the LWfG from extinction is to increase the knowledge on breeding, staging and wintering areas of the species. Both the Fennoscandian and the Central Asian migration route from the breeding areas to the wintering areas are now relatively well known. However, the spring migration routes are still virtually unknown. Also the knowledge on spatial use of breeding/moulting and staging areas is limited. To achieve an efficient conservation strategy for the species it is of crucial importance to localize these breeding, staging and wintering areas along the flyways. For a species that is low in numbers and use vast areas that are not easily accessible, the use of miniature satellite transmitters is necessary to obtain the required information. Below you will find links to finished and ongoing projects on LWfG that utilize this technique. (NOTE: several of these pages was earlier available before the design was changed in May 2013. These will be imported and made available as soon as possible).

  • From Polar Ural in European Russia 2009»
  • From Fennoscandia in 2006»
  • From Polar Ural in European Russia 2006»
  • From Putorana Mountains in Siberia 2006» by the Goose, swan and duck study group of Northern Eurasia & GIS-Lab.info
  • From Polar Ural in Russia to Mesopotamia in Iraq 2004-2005»
  • Lesser White-fronted Goose from Fennoscandia 1994-1998»
  • Telemetry development

    Until 2006 most of the maps on the Piskulka pages have been made without showing the individual locations as they were received from ARGOS. This is because the maps were made just some few hours after the data were obtained, and they had not yet been processed in the same way as is necessary prior to a scientific publication. Secondly, the data obtained by the ARGOS system was often not good enough to pinpoint the exact position of the bird. For example it was not possible to say that the bird was feeding 200 meters east of the red barn. However, it is a fact that geese in general, and lesser white-fronted geese especially, use lakes (or the Black and Caspian seas) as roosting places. Therefore the locations can be verified by the availability of useful roosting lakes. In 1997 it was possible to compare the "observed" vz the "tracking position" of some Lesser White-fronted Geese with satellite transmitters. This revealed that the mean distance between satellite locations and the true position of the geese was 5.8 km for location class 0, 12.8 km for LC A and 13.8 km for LC B (Aarvak & Øien 2003). Fortunately, the development of more advanced transmitters and algorithms for Doppler location has helped to overcome some of the problems of inaccurate positions. By 2000, the state of art was 30 gram GPS transmitters that was very accurate and where there is no need to re-catch the bird to get access to the data. The GPS positions are downloaded together with the normal satellite tracking locations. More information can be found at the web pages of Microwave Telemetry, Inc.». By 2013 the equippment has got even lighter, we have seen a huge development in GSM-transmitters and a revolution in use of light-loggers (geolocators), and this will hopefully give new insights into the migrations and life of lesser white-fronted geese.

    Peer refereed publications on satellite telemetry on LWfG

    • Aarvak, T. & Øien, I.J. 2003. Moult and autumn migration of non-breeding Fennoscandian Lesser White-fronted Geese Anser erythropus mapped by satellite telemetry. Bird Cons. Int. 13:213-226. Article abstract» 
    • Lorentsen, S.-H., Øien, I.J., Aarvak, T. 1998. Migration of Fennoscandian Lesser White-fronted Geese Anser erythropus mapped by satellite telemetry. Biological Conservation 84:47-52. Article abstract»

    ...or...satellite tracking as seen from the perspective of the Lesser White-fronted Goose»


    © 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 the Goose, Swan and Duck Study Group of Northern Eurasia, and should not be reproduced by any means without written permission.