A gloomy future for light-bellied brent geese in Tusenoyane, Svalbard, under a changing predator regime

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2019Researchpeer-review

Standard

A gloomy future for light-bellied brent geese in Tusenoyane, Svalbard, under a changing predator regime. / Madsen, Jesper; Jaspers, Cornelia; Frikke, John; Gundersen, Ove M.; Nolet, Bart A.; Nolet, Koen; Schreven, Kees H. T.; Sonne, Christian; de Vries, Peter P.

In: Polar Research, Vol. 38, 3393, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2019Researchpeer-review

Harvard

Madsen, J, Jaspers, C, Frikke, J, Gundersen, OM, Nolet, BA, Nolet, K, Schreven, KHT, Sonne, C & de Vries, PP 2019, 'A gloomy future for light-bellied brent geese in Tusenoyane, Svalbard, under a changing predator regime', Polar Research, vol. 38, 3393. https://doi.org/10.33265/polar.v38.3393

APA

CBE

MLA

Vancouver

Author

Madsen, Jesper ; Jaspers, Cornelia ; Frikke, John ; Gundersen, Ove M. ; Nolet, Bart A. ; Nolet, Koen ; Schreven, Kees H. T. ; Sonne, Christian ; de Vries, Peter P. / A gloomy future for light-bellied brent geese in Tusenoyane, Svalbard, under a changing predator regime. In: Polar Research. 2019 ; Vol. 38.

Bibtex

@article{88a2b1bd48ff4f309f0fdcc767d7a5be,
title = "A gloomy future for light-bellied brent geese in Tusenoyane, Svalbard, under a changing predator regime",
abstract = "The endangered population of light-bellied brent geese (Branta bernicla hrota) breeding in Svalbard and north-east Greenland used to have its core breeding area in the archipelago of Tusenoyane in south-east Svalbard. Studies carried out during 1987-1991 showed that the Tusenoyane population was subject to heavy egg predation by polar bears and, in one year, Arctic foxes. Revisiting some key nesting islands in August 2018, we found few nests used by brent geese and no families. The high density of common scurvygrass (Cochlearia officinalis), a food favoured by brent geese and therefore formerly depleted by them, indicates that the geese have been absent for some time. Among other bird species, such as barnacle goose and common eider, very few young were observed as well. As potential predators, polar bears, or signs of their recent presence, were observed on most islands, and great skuas occurred on almost all islands, with 60 individuals on Luroya, formerly an important island for geese. In contrast, only a single pair of great skuas was observed 30 years ago. The observations suggest that recent expansion of great skuas in the North Atlantic, including Svalbard, has led to a novel extreme predation pressure, additional to that caused by mammalian predators. Despite the loss of Tusenoyane as a breeding ground, the population of brent geese has increased in recent decades; so we can infer that the population now recruits from remote but mainly unknown breeding grounds.",
keywords = "Branta bernicla hrota, Cochlearia officinalis, great skua, polar bear, predation, SUCCESS, SNOW, Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Physical Sciences",
author = "Jesper Madsen and Cornelia Jaspers and John Frikke and Gundersen, {Ove M.} and Nolet, {Bart A.} and Koen Nolet and Schreven, {Kees H. T.} and Christian Sonne and {de Vries}, {Peter P.}",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.33265/polar.v38.3393",
language = "English",
volume = "38",
journal = "Polar Research",
issn = "0800-0395",
publisher = "Co-Action Publishing",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - A gloomy future for light-bellied brent geese in Tusenoyane, Svalbard, under a changing predator regime

AU - Madsen, Jesper

AU - Jaspers, Cornelia

AU - Frikke, John

AU - Gundersen, Ove M.

AU - Nolet, Bart A.

AU - Nolet, Koen

AU - Schreven, Kees H. T.

AU - Sonne, Christian

AU - de Vries, Peter P.

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - The endangered population of light-bellied brent geese (Branta bernicla hrota) breeding in Svalbard and north-east Greenland used to have its core breeding area in the archipelago of Tusenoyane in south-east Svalbard. Studies carried out during 1987-1991 showed that the Tusenoyane population was subject to heavy egg predation by polar bears and, in one year, Arctic foxes. Revisiting some key nesting islands in August 2018, we found few nests used by brent geese and no families. The high density of common scurvygrass (Cochlearia officinalis), a food favoured by brent geese and therefore formerly depleted by them, indicates that the geese have been absent for some time. Among other bird species, such as barnacle goose and common eider, very few young were observed as well. As potential predators, polar bears, or signs of their recent presence, were observed on most islands, and great skuas occurred on almost all islands, with 60 individuals on Luroya, formerly an important island for geese. In contrast, only a single pair of great skuas was observed 30 years ago. The observations suggest that recent expansion of great skuas in the North Atlantic, including Svalbard, has led to a novel extreme predation pressure, additional to that caused by mammalian predators. Despite the loss of Tusenoyane as a breeding ground, the population of brent geese has increased in recent decades; so we can infer that the population now recruits from remote but mainly unknown breeding grounds.

AB - The endangered population of light-bellied brent geese (Branta bernicla hrota) breeding in Svalbard and north-east Greenland used to have its core breeding area in the archipelago of Tusenoyane in south-east Svalbard. Studies carried out during 1987-1991 showed that the Tusenoyane population was subject to heavy egg predation by polar bears and, in one year, Arctic foxes. Revisiting some key nesting islands in August 2018, we found few nests used by brent geese and no families. The high density of common scurvygrass (Cochlearia officinalis), a food favoured by brent geese and therefore formerly depleted by them, indicates that the geese have been absent for some time. Among other bird species, such as barnacle goose and common eider, very few young were observed as well. As potential predators, polar bears, or signs of their recent presence, were observed on most islands, and great skuas occurred on almost all islands, with 60 individuals on Luroya, formerly an important island for geese. In contrast, only a single pair of great skuas was observed 30 years ago. The observations suggest that recent expansion of great skuas in the North Atlantic, including Svalbard, has led to a novel extreme predation pressure, additional to that caused by mammalian predators. Despite the loss of Tusenoyane as a breeding ground, the population of brent geese has increased in recent decades; so we can infer that the population now recruits from remote but mainly unknown breeding grounds.

KW - Branta bernicla hrota

KW - Cochlearia officinalis

KW - great skua

KW - polar bear

KW - predation

KW - SUCCESS

KW - SNOW

KW - Science & Technology

KW - Life Sciences & Biomedicine

KW - Physical Sciences

U2 - 10.33265/polar.v38.3393

DO - 10.33265/polar.v38.3393

M3 - Journal article

VL - 38

JO - Polar Research

JF - Polar Research

SN - 0800-0395

M1 - 3393

ER -