Demographic variations in the movements of Upland geese Chloëphaga picta and Ruddy-headed geese Chloëphaga rubidiceps in the Falkland Islands


  • Ronald W. Summers

    1. Grasslands Trials Unit, Port Stanley, Falkland Islands
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    • *Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Coypu Research Laboratory, Jupiter Road, Norwich, NR6 6SP.


Recoveries and sight-records were made from 2700 Upland and 470 Ruddy-headed geese marked in the Falkland Islands between 1977 and 1980 in order to describe the movements of these island populations. First-year male Upland geese tended to be sighted further from natal areas than first-year females, once independent of their parents. Second-year Upland geese were sighted further from shedding sites than adults throughout the year. This age-related difference was also found for Ruddy-headed geese in spring. Breeding adults of both species were rarely sighted more than 5 km from their territories. Upland adults moved furthest from their breeding territory during Sate summer and autumn. Significantly more long-distance (over 20 km) movements were recorded for Ruddy-headed geese compared with Upland geese, and were mostly carried out by geese in their second or third year, for both species. The mobility of the geese makes attempts to reduce the population on certain pastures by culling ineffective.