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Dark-bellied Brent Geese Branta bernicla bernicla, as recorded by satellite telemetry, do not minimize flight distance during spring migration

Green, Martin LU ; Alerstam, Thomas LU ; Clausen, P; Drent, R and Ebbinge, R S (2002) In Ibis 144(1). p.106-121
Abstract
Nine Dark-bellied Brent Geese Branta bernicla bernicla were equipped with satellite transmitters during spring staging in the Dutch Wadden Sea in 1998 and 1999. The transmitters (in all cases less than 3% of body mass) were attached to the back by a flexible elastic harness. One juvenile female was tracked to the Yamal peninsula in 1998. Eight adult males were selected from a single catch of 75 to span the range of body mass observed on the date of capture (11 May 1999) and all but the lightest individual completed the first lap of the migratory flight to the White Sea, Russia, according to the time schedule normal for this species. Six birds were successfully tracked to Taymyr for a total distance averaging 5004 km (range 4577-5164) but... (More)
Nine Dark-bellied Brent Geese Branta bernicla bernicla were equipped with satellite transmitters during spring staging in the Dutch Wadden Sea in 1998 and 1999. The transmitters (in all cases less than 3% of body mass) were attached to the back by a flexible elastic harness. One juvenile female was tracked to the Yamal peninsula in 1998. Eight adult males were selected from a single catch of 75 to span the range of body mass observed on the date of capture (11 May 1999) and all but the lightest individual completed the first lap of the migratory flight to the White Sea, Russia, according to the time schedule normal for this species. Six birds were successfully tracked to Taymyr for a total distance averaging 5004 km (range 4577-5164) but judging from later movements none bred (although 1999 was breeding year). Although the routes chosen during spring migration were closely similar; none of the tagged birds migrated together. On average the geese used 16 flights to reach their summer destinations on Taymyr. The longest uninterrupted flights during the first half of the journey (Wadden Sea to Kanin) covered 1056 km (mean of seven adult males, range 768-1331), while the corresponding value for the second half of the migration (Kanin-Taymyr) was only 555 km (mean of six adult males). Only 7% of total time during spring migration was spent in active flight, as contrasted to c. 80% at long-term stopovers. Overall average travelling speed was 118 km/day (range 97-148). Including fattening prior to departure the rate of travel falls to 62 km/day (range 49-70), in keeping with theoretical predictions. Routes followed deviated from the great circle route, adding at least 700 km (16%) to the journey from Wadden Sea to Taymyr, and we conclude that the coastal route is chosen to facilitate feeding, drinking and resting en route instead of minimizing total flight distance. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Ibis
volume
144
issue
1
pages
106 - 121
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000173224100013
  • scopus:0036065018
ISSN
0019-1019
DOI
10.1046/j.0019-1019.2001.00017.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d0f4e10f-d221-43c1-9c68-14a32af8cf59 (old id 145666)
alternative location
http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.0019-1019.2001.00017.x
date added to LUP
2007-06-25 07:58:31
date last changed
2017-08-06 03:47:26
@article{d0f4e10f-d221-43c1-9c68-14a32af8cf59,
  abstract     = {Nine Dark-bellied Brent Geese Branta bernicla bernicla were equipped with satellite transmitters during spring staging in the Dutch Wadden Sea in 1998 and 1999. The transmitters (in all cases less than 3% of body mass) were attached to the back by a flexible elastic harness. One juvenile female was tracked to the Yamal peninsula in 1998. Eight adult males were selected from a single catch of 75 to span the range of body mass observed on the date of capture (11 May 1999) and all but the lightest individual completed the first lap of the migratory flight to the White Sea, Russia, according to the time schedule normal for this species. Six birds were successfully tracked to Taymyr for a total distance averaging 5004 km (range 4577-5164) but judging from later movements none bred (although 1999 was breeding year). Although the routes chosen during spring migration were closely similar; none of the tagged birds migrated together. On average the geese used 16 flights to reach their summer destinations on Taymyr. The longest uninterrupted flights during the first half of the journey (Wadden Sea to Kanin) covered 1056 km (mean of seven adult males, range 768-1331), while the corresponding value for the second half of the migration (Kanin-Taymyr) was only 555 km (mean of six adult males). Only 7% of total time during spring migration was spent in active flight, as contrasted to c. 80% at long-term stopovers. Overall average travelling speed was 118 km/day (range 97-148). Including fattening prior to departure the rate of travel falls to 62 km/day (range 49-70), in keeping with theoretical predictions. Routes followed deviated from the great circle route, adding at least 700 km (16%) to the journey from Wadden Sea to Taymyr, and we conclude that the coastal route is chosen to facilitate feeding, drinking and resting en route instead of minimizing total flight distance.},
  author       = {Green, Martin and Alerstam, Thomas and Clausen, P and Drent, R and Ebbinge, R S},
  issn         = {0019-1019},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {106--121},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Ibis},
  title        = {Dark-bellied Brent Geese Branta bernicla bernicla, as recorded by satellite telemetry, do not minimize flight distance during spring migration},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.0019-1019.2001.00017.x},
  volume       = {144},
  year         = {2002},
}