Portal to the Lesser White-fronted Goose

- by the Fennoscandian Lesser White-fronted Goose project

Literature type: Scientific

Journal: Ecological Engineering

Volume: 88 , Pages: 90–98.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2015.12.009

Language: English

Full reference: Guan, L., Lei, J., Zuo, A., Zhang, H., Lei, G. & Wen, L. 2016. Optimizing the timing of water level recession for conservation of wintering geese in Dongting Lake, China. Ecological Engineering 88: 90–98. https://www.dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2015.12.009

Keywords: Habitat quality, Water recession, Generalised linear mixed modelling (GLMM), Three Gorges Dam, (TGD), Enhanced vegetation index (EVI), Geese, China, Dong Tinge lake, wintering


Habitat suitability and selection are key concepts in wildlife management, especially in protection of critical habitat and conservation of sensitive and endangered populations. In recent years, many approaches have been developed to link habitat suitability with animal occurrence and abundance. These approaches typically involve identifying existing habitats, defining habitat quality metrics, and estimating the association between animal occurrence/abundance and measured habitat metrics. In this study, we first tested whether we could measure habitat quality at Dongting Lake, China, one of the most important migratory waterbird wintering sites in the East Asian Flyway, for a group of Anatidae using metrics derived from the freely available multi-temporal MODIS vegetation index. The results showed that goose counts could be sufficiently modelled using mean winter season EVI (enhanced vegetation index) and habitat size computed from EVI time series and topographic wetness index (TWI). We then quantified the relationships between hydrological regimes and the habitat quality metrics. Our findings suggested that the timing of optimal water draw down should be early to mid October to ensure quality food sources for the wintering geese in Dongting Lake. The results have direct conservation implications as water recession timing is highly manageable through water flow regulation.

Literature type: Report

Language: English


Full reference: Karmiris, I., Papachristou, T., Platis, P. & Kazantzidis, S. 2014. The diet of the wintering Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus L., 1758) in two wetlands in Greece. , Final Rep., action A5, LIFE10NAT/GR/000638 project “Safeguarding the Lesser White–fronted goose Fennoscandian population in key wintering and staging sites within the European flyway». Hellenic Agr. Org. “DEMETER”/Forest Res. Inst., Thessaloniki, Greece.

Keywords: Greece, diet, food, selection, availability, Kerkini, Evros delta, droppings, habitat use, vegetation, EU-Life

Literature type: Thesis

Language: English

External Link:


Full reference: Niemelä, M. 2009. Biotic interactions and vegetation management on coastal meadows. , Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. A Scientiae Rerum Naturalium 360. Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, Finland.

Keywords: cattle, coastal meadow, diet of geese, grazing, management, plant\ncompetition, plant parasitism, threatened species, vegetation succession, Finland, Bothnian Bay


Conservation of rare habitats and species are central elements in the management of semi-natural grasslands of high biodiversity. Understanding the impacts of various abiotic and biotic interactions and management methods on threatened species is fundamental to their conservation. In the present study, effects of competition, plant parasitism, grazing and mowing were studied at the community level in Bothnian Bay coastal meadows and in greenhouse. This was the first time when the impacts of various biotic interactions on the critically endangered creeping alkali grass (Puccinellia phryganodes) have been explored in detail in one of its rare occurrences in the boreal vegetation zone in Europe. In addition, questions related to ecological and economical sustainability of cattle grazing on coastal meadows were examined. Puccinellia phryganodes was found to suffer severely from competition with taller graminoids. Simulated and actual grazing by greylag goose, Anser anser, as well as infection by a hemiparasitic plant, Odontites litoralis, were found to indirectly benefit P. phryganodes by decreasing the competitive advantage of its competitors. In spite of the relatively intensive grazing by greylag goose in the field, P. phryganodes experienced a drastic decrease during four years in the grazed experimental quadrats and simultaneously the proportion of the taller graminoids increased substantially. Primary succession of coastal meadow vegetation was found to progress rapidly and continuous formation of suitable open habitats is therefore crucial for the subordinate species. Mowing was found to be an effective management method for some threatened plant species in coastal meadows, but not for P. phryganodes, which would probably benefit more, for example, from livestock grazing. Both lightly and rather intensively managed large open meadows could provide optimal habitats for the critically endangered lesser white fronted goose (Anser erythropus) as well as for the greylag goose. The relatively low and variable yield of the coastal meadow vegetation compared to that of cultivated grasslands sets limits how management by cattle grazing can be implemented. Key factors for both the biodiversity management and livestock production in coastal meadows are timing of the grazing season, intensity of grazing and selection of suitable types of animals.

Literature type: General

Journal: Vår Fågelvärld

Volume: 55(3) , Pages: 17-19.

Language: Swedish (In Swedish)


Full reference: Björklund, M. 1996. Fjällgåsen och älvslåtterns försvinnande. [Lesser White-fronted Goose and the dissapearance of river valley mowing.], Vår Fågelvärld : 55(3), 17-19.

Keywords: conservation, Sweden, vegetation

Number of results: 4