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counting geese in longyearbyen

19 May 2011 21:00

You can clearly see the pink feet from close distance as the Pink-footed geese have gathered on small spots with no ice or snow cover.
Some of the best vegetated open spots can eb found in the village Longyearbyen. Geese have little alternative and are easily approached.
I am staying for 2 days in Longyearbyen for a meeting about SIOS. I skipped dinner to spend an evening with two students counting the arriving geese in Adventdalen. We count 83 Barnacle geese and 1335 Pink-footed geese close to the road. We also observe some individual marks: (Barnacle goose have coloured legrings: green XVN; orange DSZ; green ZVI - Pink-footed geese have coloured neckbands: white H43; blue T40; white I41; white O13). In my lectures I explain students why geese migrate north to breed. Seeing the hostile environment, I almost start to doubt my own line of reasoning.

<--   Odd Helge Tunheim (right) en Camille Posocco (left) take me on their goose count. They will count geese every other day for the next weeks.



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