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Overwinterende wilde ganzen in Noord Oost-Vlaanderen
De Smet, W. (2005). Overwinterende wilde ganzen in Noord Oost-Vlaanderen. Natuur.Oriolus 71(Bijlage): 55-60
In: Natuur.Oriolus. Natuurpunt Antwerpen Noord: Turnhout. ISSN 1379-8863, more
Also appears in:
Devos, K.; Leysen, K. (Ed.) (2005). Ganzen. Natuur.Oriolus, 71(Bijlage). Natuurpunt: Mechelen. 183 pp., more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • De Smet, W.

    The wintering areas for geese in the North of East Flanders are situated in the polders (mainly in the region of Sint Laureins and Assenede) and the small adjoining zone of the Houtland region. The polder complexes belong to the so-called River Scheldt polders and border with Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (Netherlands). Farming in the region is mainly agricultural so that little permanent grassland is available for foraging geese. Systematic counts of wintering geese are available since 1985. Counts have been mainly done in periods when peak numbers have been present. Real total counts over the complete region are rather scarce. The number of geese in North East Flanders is very variable due to the intense exchange with important goose areas over the border in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. The White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons is the most numerous species with winter maxima mostly varying between 4000 and 10,000 individuals. The absolute maximum was more than 19,000 individuals during the severe winter of 1995/96. Tundra Bean Geese Anser fabalis rossicus occur less often. In most winters only a few hundred individuals have been counted, but in years when more harvest pickings are left behind the number can rise much higher (max. 4500 in January 2001). Since the establishment of local breeding populations, numbers of Greylag Goose Anser anser have also grown outside the breeding season. In winter the local feral birds enjoy the company of a small number of wild birds (mainly from Scandinavia). The number of Greylag Geese increased to approximately 2000 individuals in the period 2000-2004 but seems to be decreasing again as a result of persecution. Except for Greylag Geese, the majority of geese roost over the border in Zeeland (among other places the Hooge Platen on the River Scheldt and the Braakman creek). The numbers of other goose species such as Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus and Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis remain negligible.

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