We evaluated the use of goose-dropping density as an index of food-consumption volume using white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons) foraging on spilled grains in rice fields. It was revealed that even when the dropping densities were similar at 2 sites, the actual rice-consumption volume varied greatly with initial grain density in the field. Also, it was shown that regardless of dropping density, rice-consumption volume was less variable among fields with low initial grain density. Some possible reasons for the weak relationship between dropping density and rice consumption were discussed. Based on our results, we suggest that wildfowl's dropping density is likely to have a limited capability as an indicator of food-consumption volume, and we propose some directions for improving its effectiveness.
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