Censuses of autumn staging and wintering goose populations in Sweden 1977/1978—2011/2012
Keywords:Anatidae, winter ecology, agriculture, habitat selection
Field choice was recorded during counts of geese in South-west Scania, South Sweden in autumn (October and November) and in winter (January), 1977/1978—2011/2012. Sugar beet spill was the most important field type in autumn and during the last ten years also in winter. Bean Geese Anser fabalis used this food source when the study started while Canada Geese Branta canadensis, Greylag Geese Anser anser, White-fronted Geese Anser albifrons and Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis followed during the years 1987—2001. Potatoes were mainly used when fields with sugar beet spill were unavailable. Cereal stubbles were mainly used in autumn and to a quite low extent. Winter cereals were heavily used by most species in both autumn and winter during the first 15 years but less so thereafter. Grasslands were mainly used in winter, to a large extent by White-fronted Geese and to a quite high extent by Bean Geese and Barnacle Geese. The total use of oilseed rape was low, mainly by Canada Geese that utilised fields with no-till when the ground was snow-covered.
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