The latest edition of GooseNews carries news of three significant population milestones having been passed.
The most impressive is undoubtedly that the Icelandic-breeding Pink-footed Goose population has reached a new record high of over half a million birds – just over 536,000 were recorded during the October 2015 IGC count. This is a staggering jump from the 2014 census that is explained in detail in the IGC report.
Counts of Svalbard Barnacle Geese on the Solway Firth confirmed that this population has surpassed the 40,000 mark for the first time – an estimate of 41,000 birds was made in 2015/16. This is equally remarkable population recovery considering that there were fewer than 400 birds just 70 years ago.
Finally, thanks to the efforts of the counters who took part in the 2015 International Swan Census, the new estimate of the number of Icelandic Whooper Swans has reach 34,004 birds, up from 29,000 in 2010.
Other articles featured in this years’ GooseNews include:
David Boertmann and Carl Mitchell describe how non-breeding Pink-footed Geese can now be found moulting on the most northerly land area on Earth;
we report on whether poor productivity is behind the Bewick’s Swan population decline;
and in an interview with the RSPB’s Island Officer for Tiree, Dr John Bowler tells us how he became involved in goose and swan monitoring.
GooseNews can now be downloaded from the GSMP Reports and newsletter archive and further details on the results of surveys carried out in 2015/16 for all populations can be found in the newly updated GSMP Species Accounts.
We hope you find these interesting and that you enjoy reading them!