KLEEFSTRA R, HOOIJMEIJER J & NIJLAND F (2023) Geese on night roosts in the province of Friesland in 1996/97-2016/17. LIMOSA 96 (1): 30-43.
The Dutch province of Friesland is of great importance
as a wintering area for geese. Every year, the province
hosts more than 40% of all migrating and wintering
geese in the Netherlands. In the foraging areas they
have been counted for decades under the coordination
of Sovon. In Friesland, however, also numbers of geese
on night roosts have been counted, since the late 1990s
on the initiative of the ‘FFF-Roost Survey Group Fryslân’
of the volunteers’ organization Fryske Feriening foar
In this article we give an overview of 21 years of geese
counts on 50 inland night roosts (Appendix 1, Fig. 1).
For the five most numerous species (Tundra Bean
Goose Anser serrirostris, Pink-footed Goose Anser
brachyrhynchus, White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons,
Greylag Goose Anser anser and Barnacle Geese Branta
leucopsis; Tab. 1-6) we give an overview of the most
important night roosts and, if possible, the change in
numbers over three periods of seven years. For Pinkfooted Geese also an integral count of night roosts in
the winter of 2001/02 is given (Tab. 3).
Night roosts with very high numbers of geese are
mainly found in flooded grasslands, shallow water
coastlines, and peat pools and puddles. Most of these
important night roosts are protected under Nature
2000-legislation, but some important night roosts lack
Monthly counts in the period October-March can give
a good impression of the numbers of geese using a
nature area for night roosting. As far as possible, trends
indicate decreasing numbers of Pink-footed Geese,
related to wintering further north, but possibly also
due to an increasing disturbance by hunting on the
edges of night roosts in some areas. This might also
affect numbers of White-fronted Geese and Barnacle
Geese on some of the most important night roosts.
Greylay Geese show an increase on most roosts.
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