Portal to the Lesser White-fronted Goose

- by the Fennoscandian Lesser White-fronted Goose project

Literature type: Thesis

Language: English

Full reference: Mandila, J.M. 2015. Problems of translocation: case study Lesser White-fronted Goose. , B.Sc. Thesis. Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, Freiburg, Germany.

Keywords: reintroduction, evaluation, translocation, thesis, Germany, Sweden


In order to prevent extinction of the endangered Fennoscandian Lesser White-fronted Goose (LWfG) population, several translocation attempts have been conducted since 1981. Reintroductions prior to 2010 were based on captive birds. By altering the species migration route, the birds were led from former breeding grounds of the Fennoscandian population to safer wintering grounds in Western Europe. The subsequent detection of introgression from other goose genes among the source population led to further releases being put on hold. However, hybridization may be a natural phenomena among LWfG, although research supporting such a view is scarce and the data used questionable, probably relying on samples from escapees. Furthermore, reintroduction by means of using a non traditional route has been criticised due to the change in habitat selection and feeding behaviour of the released population. More recently, releases have been carried out with pure bred LWfG using the traditional route to Western Europe. Although this supports the view that the migration route used is an earlier traditional one which got lost as a result of the decline in the Fennoscandian population, analysis of the supporting data shows that the evidence is too scarce to make such an assumption. Since reintroduction is threatening the wild LWfG genetically and ecologically due to the adoption of genetic traits and behaviour caused by inter-breeding with the released population, the restricted resources of suitable birds should be kept for possible future supplementation of the Fennoscandian population in accordance with the IUCN Guidelines. Furthermore, in order to maintain the wild population and lead to its recovery to a favourable conservation status, efforts should concentrate on the reduction of threats along the traditional migration route and the restoration of its natural habitats.

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