Japan hosts more than 40% population of Brent Goose Branta bernicla wintering in East Asia. We used satellite-tracking technology to monitor the seasonal movements and habitat usage of Brent Goose wintering in northern Japan. We marked five geese on the Oya sandy beach, Miyagi Prefecture, northeast Honshu, on 21 January 2014. The geese utilized areas along the seacoast, especially concentrating at a small bay, close to the capture site. Most of the geese offshore were found at fishery rafts. No geese were found more than 2 km offshore or more than 6 km from the capture site along the seacoast. In early April, the geese left the southern Sanriku coast and moved up to eastern Hokkaido, crossing the sea directly or via the coastal areas of Iwate and Aomori Prefectures. The geese predominantly remained in the vicinity of the Veslovskiy Peninsula, Kunashiri (Kunashir) Island, while some were distributed along the northern coast of the Nemuro Peninsula. We identified eastern Hokkaido and Kunashiri Island as important stopover sites for Brent Goose wintering in Japan.
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Vol. 15 • No. 1