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1 October 2011 Distribution of Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis in Relation to Food Resources, Distance to Roosts, and the Location of Refuges
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Abstract

We used GPS satellite tracking data and field measurements of vegetation to investigate the effect of food resources, distance to roosts, and the location of refuges on the distribution of Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis in the northern part of The Netherlands. To deal with spatial dependence among the data, a spatial lag model was used. A significant quadratic effect was found between sward height and goose distribution, indicating that geese prefer patches with intermediate sward heights. The manipulation of sward height can therefore be used to attract geese to refuges and thus reduce goose grazing in agricultural land. No relationship was found between grass nitrogen content and grazing intensity, indicating that geese do not distinguish between areas based on nitrogen content. A higher grazing intensity was observed in areas located within 2 km from roosts. The eight tracked geese spent 80% of their foraging time in refuges, demonstrating the importance of the refuge system.

Yali Si, Andrew K. Skidmore, Tiejun Wang, Willem F. de Boer, Albertus G. Toxopeus, Martin Schlerf, Mandy Oudshoorn, Susan Zwerver, Henk van der Jeugd, Klaus-Michael Exo, and Herbert H.T. Prins "Distribution of Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis in Relation to Food Resources, Distance to Roosts, and the Location of Refuges," Ardea 99(2), (1 October 2011). https://doi.org/10.5253/078.099.0212
Received: 21 June 2010; Accepted: 1 August 2011; Published: 1 October 2011
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