Biology Bulletin

, Volume 44, Issue 9, pp 1035–1045 | Cite as

The Lesser Snow Goose on Wrangel Island: Trophic Interactions with Ruminants and Breeding Habitat Selection

  • S. B. Rozenfeld
  • I. S. Sheremetyev
  • V. V. Baranyuk


The lesser snow goose (Anser caerulescens caerulescens) has been exterminated across a vast area of Eurasia. At present, it is unable to regenerate there, though its population in North America has reached fifteen million. In Eurasia, the only major nesting colony still persists on Wrangel Island, where the geese use the trophic resources together with ruminants. An assessment of the competitive networks and the trophic interactions between the geese and the ruminants was performed. The analysis of the significance of the trophic niche overlap and the competitive advantages of geese in the habitat preferences has proved that the ruminants are stronger competitors for trophic resources than the geese. It has been ascertained that the levels of competition for trophic resources and/or resource shortages are higher across the habitats of most types associated with the goose colony. The level of the competition for trophic resources is lower, and the feed resources are more diverse and abundant in the habitats that are used by the geese after leaving the colony. It can be concluded that the shortage of resources and/or the stronger competitors for trophic resources (the ruminants) cannot prevent restoration of extinct colonies or the formation of new colonies with a recent increase in the size of the goose population on Wrangel Island. The distribution, abundance, and quality of trophic resources and the competition for them with ruminants do not determine the goose choice of a habitat for a nesting colony. The choice depends on the microclimate and, probably, on a range of other factors.


Arctic lesser snow goose musk ox reindeer competition Wrangel Island 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. B. Rozenfeld
    • 1
  • I. S. Sheremetyev
    • 2
  • V. V. Baranyuk
    • 3
  1. 1.Severtsov Institute of Ecology and EvolutionRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Institute of Biology and Soil Science, Far East BranchRussian Academy of SciencesVladivostokRussia
  3. 3.All-Russia Research Institute for Nature Protection (VNII Ecology)MoscowRussia

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