Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 151, Issue 3, pp 703–712 | Cite as

Seasonal migrations of four individual bar-headed geese Anser indicus from Kyrgyzstan followed by satellite telemetry

  • Ulrich Köppen
  • Alexander Petrovich Yakovlev
  • Raimund Barth
  • Michael Kaatz
  • Peter Berthold
Original article

Abstract

The Kyrgyz population of the bar-headed goose Anser indicus has declined dramatically during the past decades. Human persecution during migration and habitat loss at stopover and wintering sites are commonly regarded as most serious threats. However, little is known about seasonal movements, migration routes, and wintering sites of the bar-headed geese from Kyrgyzstan, which represent the westernmost geographical population of the species. As part of a conservation project, which also included reinforcement of the wild population by the release of hand-reared juveniles, in late summer of 1998, five bar-headed geese, three wild adults and two hand-reared goslings, were fitted with sun-powered satellite transmitters in order to track their movements from Lake Son Kul and Lake Chatyr Kul in Kyrgyzstan. The five individuals contributed very unevenly to the more than 5,000 signals in total that were received from the French ARGOS system: one failed after 8 weeks, while another one was tracked for more than 2 years. The four geese contributing to this study followed three completely different migration routes leading to their wintering areas in Pakistan, India and Uzbekistan, while stopover areas were situated in southern Tajikistan and in western Tibet. Both in autumn and spring the adult birds migrated distances of 1,280–1,550 km in two steps, with stopover periods of 32–46 days (autumn) and 16–23 days (spring). Flight speeds of up to 680 km per actual migration day were recorded regularly, even during crossings of very high summits. A hand-reared juvenile flew non-stop for 790 km to southern Uzbekistan and even visited southernmost Turkmenistan, where the species is very rarely seen. The timing of migration varied considerably between individuals but also for the same individual between years. We compare our tracking results with previous findings (field observations, ring recoveries, and satellite tracking results) and discuss them with respect to migration over high-mountain habitats and a general migration strategy of the species.

Keywords

Bar-headed goose Anser indicus Kyrgyzstan Satellite telemetry Migration routes Stopover areas Wintering areas 

References

  1. Abdusalyamov IA (1971) The Fauna of the Tajik SSR. I. Birds (in Russian). DushanbeGoogle Scholar
  2. Ali S, Ripley SD (1987) Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan. Oxford University Press, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  3. ARGOS (2007) User Manual, Service Argos. Toulouse. http://www.argossystem.org/documents/userarea/argos_manual_en.pdfCLS/
  4. Berthold P (2007) Vogelzug. Eine aktuelle Gesamtübersicht. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, DarmstadtGoogle Scholar
  5. BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona and CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  6. Bishop MA, Song Y, Canjue Z, Gu B (1997) Status and distribution of bar-headed geese Anser indicus wintering in south-central Tibet. Wildfowl 48:118–126Google Scholar
  7. Black JM, Owen M (1989) Agonistic behaviour in barnacle goose flocks: assessment, investment and reproductive success. Anim Behav 37:199–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Black CP, Tenny SM (1980) Oxygen transport during progressive hypoxia in high-altitude and sea-level waterfowl. Respir Physiol 39:217–239CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Borodin AM, Bannikov AG, Sokolov WE (eds) (1985) Red data book of the U.S.S.R. (Krasnaya Kniga SSSR), vol 1 (Animals). Nauka, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  10. Borshonov BB (1978) On flights of bar-headed geese to Taimyr peninsula (in Russian). Novosib Naucnotech Bull NIIS 15:44–46Google Scholar
  11. Braunitzer G, Hiebl I (1988) Molekulare Aspekte der Höhenatmung von Vögeln. Hämoglobine der Streifengans (Anser indicus), der Andengans (Chloephaga melanoptera) und des Sperbergeiers (Gyps rueppellii). Naturwissenschaften 75:280–287CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Butler PJ, Bishop CM (2000) Flight. In: Whittow GC (ed) Avian physiology. Academic Press, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  13. Choudhury A (1997) The bar-headed goose in north-eastern India and Bhutan. J Ecol Soc 10:17–19Google Scholar
  14. Collar NJ, Andrew P (1988) Birds to watch—the ICBP world check-list of threatened birds. ICBP Technical Publication no. 8, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  15. Collar NJ, Crosby MJ, Stattersfield AJ (1994) Birds to watch 2—the world list of threatened birds. Birdlife International, Birdlife Conservation Series no. 4, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  16. Danilov-Danilian VI (ed) (2001) Red data book of the Russian federation: animals. Nauka, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  17. Del Hoyo J, Elliott A, Sargatal J (1992) Handbook of the birds of the world, vol.1. Lynx Edicions, BarcelonaGoogle Scholar
  18. Dolnik VR (1990) Bird migration across arid and mountainous regions of middle Asia and Kazakhstan. In: Gwinner E (ed) Bird migration: the physiology and ecophysiology. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. Dunning JB (1993) CRC handbook of avian body masses. CRC Press, London, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  20. Eichhorn G, Drent RH, Stahl J, Leito A, Alerstam T (2009) Skipping the Baltic: the emergence of a dichotomy of alternative spring migration strategies in Russian barnacle geese. J Anim Ecol 78:63–72. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2008.01485 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Elphick J (1995) Collins atlas of bird migration. Harper & Collins, LondonGoogle Scholar
  22. Gudmundsson GA, Benvenuti S, Alerstam T, Papi F, Lilliendahl K, Akesson S (1995) Examining the limits of flight and orientation performance: satellite tracking of brent geese migrating across the Greenland ice-cap. Proc R Soc Lond 261:73–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hays G, Akesson S, Godley B, Luschi P, Santridrian P (2001) The implications of location accuracy for the interpretation of satellite-tracking data. Anim Behav 61:1035–1040CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Javed S, Takekawa JY, Douglas DC, Rahmani AR, Kanai Y, Nagendran M, Choudhury BC, Sharma S (2000) Tracking the spring migration of a bar-headed goose (Anser indicus) across the Himalaya with satellite telemetry. Glob Environ Res 4:195–206Google Scholar
  25. Kaatz M (2004) Der Zug des Weißstorchs Ciconia ciconia auf der europäischen Ostroute über den Nahen Osten nach Afrika. Ph.D. thesis, Martin-Luther-University, Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, p 163Google Scholar
  26. Kear J (2005) Bird families of the world. Ducks, geese and swans, vol. 1. University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  27. Knystaustas A (1993) Birds of Russia. Harper Collins, LondonGoogle Scholar
  28. Kydyraliev AK (1967) Bar-headed geese (Anser indicus) in the Tian-Shan mountains (in Russian). Ornitologiya 8:245–253Google Scholar
  29. Kydyraliev AK (1973) Waterfowl of the central Tian-Shan (in Russian). FrunseGoogle Scholar
  30. Kydyraliev AK, Abdusalyamov IA (1979) Migrations of bar-headed goose. In: Ilyichev WD (ed) Migrations of birds of eastern Europe and Northern Asia. Nauka, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  31. Lorentsen SH, Oien JI, Aarvak T (1998) Migration of Fennoscandian lesser white-fronted geese Anser erythropus mapped by satellite telemetry. Biol Conserv 84:47–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lu J (1997) Distribution of bar-headed goose in China. Ecol Soc 10:8–9Google Scholar
  33. McClure HE (1998) Migration and survival of the birds of Asia. White Lotus Press, BangkokGoogle Scholar
  34. McKinnon J, Phillips K (2000) A field guide to the birds of China. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  35. Melnikov U (1997) Rare geese species in the Baikal area: distribution and occurrence (in Russian). Russ J Ornithol Express Issue 21:14–19Google Scholar
  36. Mineev EY, Mineev YN (2000) Bar-headed geese Eulabeia indica in the Bolshesemelskaya tundra (in Russian). Russ J Ornithol Express Issue 113:22Google Scholar
  37. Ming M, Dai C (1999) Breeding ecology of bar-headed goose in Tianshan, Xinjiang. Casarca 5:177–181Google Scholar
  38. Miyabayashi Y, Mundkur T (1999) Atlas of key sites for Anatidae in the east Asian flyway. Tokyo, Wetlands International–Japan and Kuala Lumpur, Wetlands International–Asia PacificGoogle Scholar
  39. Newton I (2008) The migration ecology of birds. Migration systems and population limitation. Academic Press, London, pp 697–822Google Scholar
  40. Perennou CT, Mundkur T, Scott DA, Follestad AN, Kvenild L (1994) The Asian waterfowl census 1987–1991: distribution and status of Asian waterfowl. Asian Waterfowl Bureau, publication no. 86, Kuala LumpurGoogle Scholar
  41. Prevett JP, McInnes CD (1980) Family and other social groups in snow geese. Wildl Monogr 71:1–46Google Scholar
  42. Roberts TI (1991) The birds of Pakistan, volume 1. Regional studies and non-passeriformes. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  43. Rutschke E (1997) Wildgänse. Lebensweise-Schutz-Nutzung. Paul Parey, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  44. Saunders DK, Fedde MR (1991) Physical conditioning: effect on the myoglobin concentration in skeletal and cardiac muscle of bar-headed geese. Comp Biochem Physiol A Comp Physiol 100:349–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Selesnev VF (1976) On the bar-headed goose in Tajikistan (in Russian). In: Gladkov NA (ed) Rare, extinct and less investigated birds of the U.S.S.R. Nauka, RyasanGoogle Scholar
  46. Swan LW (1970) Goose of the Himalayas. Nat Hist 79:68–74Google Scholar
  47. Syroechkovskyi EE, Rogacheva EW (1995) Red data book of Krasnoyarsk county (in Russian). KrasnoyarskGoogle Scholar
  48. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) (2006) Bar-headed goose migration over the Himalaya Cordellera 2005. Western Ecological Research Center, Sacramento, USA. http://www.werc.usgs.gov/sattrack/project2005.html
  49. Yakovlev AP (1997) Current population status of the bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) in Kirgizia and its preservation. Casarca 3:260–270Google Scholar
  50. Zhang J, Hua Z, Tame RH, Lu G, Zhang R, Gu X (1996) The crystal structure of a high oxygen affinity species of haemoglobin (bar-headed goose haemoglobin in the oxy form). J Mol Biol 255:484–493CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrich Köppen
    • 1
  • Alexander Petrovich Yakovlev
    • 2
  • Raimund Barth
    • 3
  • Michael Kaatz
    • 4
  • Peter Berthold
    • 5
  1. 1.Hiddensee Bird Ringing CentreState Office for Environment, Nature Conservation and Geology of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania StralsundGermany
  2. 2.Issyk Kul Biosphere ReservationAnanyevoKyrgysztan
  3. 3.Max Planck Institute for OrnithologyBehavioural Ecology and Evolutionary GeneticsAndechsGermany
  4. 4.Vogelschutzwarte Storchenhof Loburg e.V.LoburgGermany
  5. 5.Max Planck Institute for OrnithologyVogelwarte RadolfzellRadolfzellGermany

Personalised recommendations