The new sentinels of the migration of the Red-breasted Goose

In the first half of May during spring migration of the Red-breasted Goose, the field team of local Kazakh experts organized field expedition in the already traditional catching area in North Kazakhstan. The conditions this spring were challenging as extensive floodings in southern Russia and Northern parts of Kazakhstan made lot of areas inaccessible and working conditions extreme. Nevertheless, the local field team progressed steadily. First a selection of potential catching sites was identified. To increase the efficiency of trapping, 2 traps were used, which were delivered and installed at the trapping sites on May 9.Immediately after installing the traps, work was carried out to place concealments.This year there have been significant changes in the habitat conditions of geese in these areas.The water level in reservoirs has increased significantly.

From May 10 to May 22, six Red-breasted Geese were caught and marked with GPS-GSM tags in this area, among which were 4 birds that we had previously caught in 2018-2019 at the Karatau tract. They still carried their metal and plastic rings. This is showcasing the philopatry of the birds and the importance of this stop over and stagging area during spring migration.

Following the initial success, the changes in the weather conditions and the advancement of the migration lead to opting for a new location of the catching 2km away, but eventually no further success in catching and tagging geese. However, the 2024 tagging expedition fulfilled the initial plans of the WFN continuation funding project on Red-breasted Goose. Considering the three Redbreasts tagged in previous years that reappeared in the spring. Of them one female has been tagged two years ago, one male – three years ago and there is one male which has been tagged 4 years ago and its tag still occasionally transmits. Thus, there are currently 9 birds still transmitting and gathering data and we only hope that on the return migration most of them will reappear on our radar to provide more data about their movements and whereabouts.

The work on the Red-breasted Goose conservation and monitoring in Kazakhstan in the period 2024-2026 is funded via WFN continuation funding project CONSERVATION OF THE RED-BREASTED GOOSE IN KEY SITES ALONG THE FLYWAY      

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