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Migration Ecology of Arctic Nesting Geese: Results from Five Satellite Telemetry Studies

John Y. Takekawa, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, California Science Center, San Francisco Bay Estuary Field Station, P. O. Box 2012, Vallejo, CA 94592 USA

I initiated satellite telemetry studies of Arctic nesting geese in 1991 to examine their migration chronology and staging areas. The first project on the fall migration of lesser snow geese (Anser c. caerulescens) from Wrangel Island, Russia, to British Columbia and Washington was successful in documenting the entire fall migration route of an Arctic nesting goose. Since that time, my subsequent studies with satellite telemetry have included documenting the spring pathways of snow geese migrating north from the Skagit River delta of Washington in 1992, examining the migration of greater white-fronted geese (A. a. albifrons) from northern Honshu, Japan to Siberia in 1994, determining the route of tule greater white-fronted geese (A. a. gambeli) from the Sacramento Valley of California to Alaska in 1994, and presenting the migration of snow geese from Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico on the Internet (Figure 1) in a research and education program with the National Audubon Society in 1997. I present a summary of the results from these projects including costs of the studies, success rates of the transmitters, testing of different attachment techniques, frequency of locations, methods for presenting the routes on the Internet, and considerations for future research projects.

GIF - Spring migration route of snow geese.(pic)

Figure 1. A page from the "Heading North" website ( showing spring migration route of a snow goose marked with a satellite transmitter in New Mexico.

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