We conducted the fourth coordinated census of wintering geese for this season in Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria . The highest number of Red-breasted Geese as expected was registered in Romania – 12,300 individuals. Two of the wetlands there harbour the majority of the Red-breasted Geese – the Danube Delta region and the two islands south of Braila. About 95% of the birds are concentrated there. Red-breasted Geese have also been observed in almost all other wetlands visited, but in very low numbers – between 16 and 260 individuals. During the monitoring, more than 220,000 Greater White-fronted Geese were observed and their highest number was registered in the Danube Delta – over 50,000 ind.
In Ukraine, the number of Red-breasted geese has increased significantly compared to the census in January and reached nearly 7,000 ind. The areas north of Lake Sivash in the Kherson region are reaffirming their importance as a wintering ground, as nearly 97% of all Red-breasted Geese in the country are found there, as well as about 50% of the White-fronted Geese.
In Bulgaria, the number of geese is much lower than expected for the season. Along the Danube, the Svishtov–Belene lowland and the Srebarna Nature Reserve no geese were found. At the traditional wintering ground in Dobrudzha, only single Red-breasted Geese and Greater White-fronted Geese were observed. Most geese in the country are observed in the area of Atanasovsko Lake near Burgas – about 7,000 Greater White-fronted Geese and several dozen Red-breasted Geese. However, the numbers are unusually low for the region, where dozens of times more geese have regularly congregated in recent years.
The monitoring of Red-breasted Geese is carried out within the framework of the LIFE project “LIFE for Safe Flight“.