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Polar bears chasing goose eggs

Jouke Prop is associated member of the Arctic Centre of the University of Groningen and has been studying the interaction between polar bears and geese. Here you can see some spectacular movies from his study in 2012.
This video shows successive visits by polar bears to a barnacle goose colony, west coast of Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Bears walk from nest to nest to eat the eggs, leaving behind the upset nest owners. Other bird species that are predated on this video are eider and glaucous gull. The video summarizes 20 hours of polar bears feeding in the colony throughout the 2012 breeding season. The video speed is 5x normal. The field work was by Jouke Prop, Eva Wolters, Tom van Spanje, Oebele Dijk and Thomas Oudman.

Polar bears detect pink-footed goose nests

Geese nest on places were they feel safe for predators. Many years, the Arctic Fox was the main predator for goose nests. Barnacle geese could not defend their nest against foxes and had to breed on islands. Pink-footed goose were able to defend their nests on rocky outcrops on the tundra. In recent years, Polar Bears have arrived as new predators during nesting. They are very well able to visit the breeding islands and even locate nests on the tundra. We are still not sure, if the increasing number of polar bears in our study area is an effect of an increasing bear population due to a hunting ban since 1968, or if this is the effect of disappearing hunting grounds on ice due to global warming.
In our study area Pink-footed geese make their nest on rocky outcrops. Safe places that they can well defend against Arctic foxes. When a polar bear comes the geese can just hide and hope for the best. In vain, as this video shows. Video by Jouke Prop, Tom van Spanje, Eva Wolters.

These videos are taken from youtube.com channel joukeprop.

pages with keyword pink-footed goose


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20130103, 12:00
polar bears eating goose eggs


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20110519, 21:00
counting geese in LYR

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