Species fact sheet by Global Register of Migratory Species - www.groms.de
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Anser erythropus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Family: Anatidae
Order: Anseriformes
English: Lesser white-fronted goose
French: Oie naine
Spanish: Ánser chico
German: Zwerggans (There's a German version of this page!)
Norwegian: Dverggås (There's a Norwegian version of this page!)
Migration: intercontinental
Migration details: “Migratory, main wintering areas on coastal plains of Caspian and Black Seas and in E China. Occasionally mixes with flocks of A. albifrons and occurs much further W than normal range; regular in Britain”
del Hoyo J, Elliott A, Sargatal J (eds) 1992, p. 582
Regions: East Asia, Europe, North Asia, South & Southeast Asia, West & Central Asia

distribution map of Anser erythropus 

“This formerly abundant species suffered a marked decline during the 20th century, with local population decreases up to 95%. By now, the lesser white-fronted goose is close to extinction in the EU region, although an European action plan has been developed (Heredia et al. 1996). A Finnish LIFE project is running since 1997, including satellite studies and genetic population structure. According to this project, the world autumn population is estimated at 20,000 to 25,000 individuals (Tolvanen et al. 1999). Genetic studies have confirmed the differences between eastern and western populations, suggesting the existence of three subpopulations (Ruokonen & Lumme 1999). The Fennoscandian population is now reduced to less than 50 pairs, and trends for Russian breeding populations reveal frightening declines.

Satellite telemetry revealed the unknown migration route and important stopover sites in Northwest Russia, the Galenbecker lake in eastern Germany, Hungary, the Evros Delta in Greece, Dagestan (Russia) and the Kustanay district in Kazakhstan, which is the most important site (Lorentsen et al. 1998). These studies found illegal hunting to be the most important reason for the continuous decline. Of 10 adult geese equipped with satellite transmitters, 2 were reported shot, one in Germany, where the species is strictly protected by CMS and several other conventions. These laws are of minor practical value, as hunters confuse the species with the greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons), or even with other Anser species. Therefore, efficient protection requires the establishment of hunting free zones. Hunting is now forbidden in the Evros Delta, Greece, and in the core areas at Kanin Peninsula (Russia) (Øien & Aarvak 2001). An interesting experiment is now going on in Western Europe, where an artificially raised group was accompanied by ultralight plane from Sweden to a new, safe wintering site in Germany (Wesel, Rhine). The inlet shows the important staging areas in Kazakstan and major wintering areas in the Pannonian plains (Hungary) and the Caspian Sea.”
Riede, K. (2001): Global Register of Migratory Species. Weltregister wandernder Tierarten. Münster (Landwirtschaftsverlag), p. 207

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