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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Migration routes and stepping stones along the western flyway of Lesser White-fronted Geese (Anser erythropus)

Kruckenberg, Helmut; Moonen, Sander; Koelzsch, Andrea; Liljebaeck, Niklas; Mueskens, Gerhard J. D. M.


In 2015 and 2016 four Lesser White-fronted Geese (Anser erythropus), a globally threatened species, were caught and tagged during spring migration representing nearly 10% of the entire Swedish breeding population at the time. Two of the birds were followed over more than one season. Tracking data revealed an unexpected wide network of migration corridors and staging sites. Autumn and spring migration differed by stepping-stone sites and migration speed. So far unknown key stopover sites were discovered in Denmark, northern Germany, and Sweden. By using dynamic Brownian bridge movement models, the potential areas that Lesser White-fronted Geese used during migration are described and conservation implications spotlighted. This study provides another important piece of the puzzle describing the migration of Lesser White-fronted Geese in Western Europe.


Brownian bridge; dBBMM; Endangered species; Flyway model; GPS; Migration routes; Scandinavia; Tracking

Published in

Bird Conservation International
2023, volume: 33, article number: PII S0959270922000478

Authors' information

Moonen, Sander
Wageningen University and Research
Koelzsch, Andrea
University of Konstanz
Koelzsch, Andrea
Max Planck Society
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Mueskens, Gerhard J. D. M.
Wageningen University and Research

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