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Dynamics of fat and protein reserves during winter and spring migration in greater snow geese

Bédard, J. et Giroux, J. F. et Gauthier, G. (1992). Dynamics of fat and protein reserves during winter and spring migration in greater snow geese. Canadian Journal of Zoology , 70 . pp. 2077-2087.

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We studied the dynamics of fat and protein reserves in greater snow geese (Chen caerulescens atlantica) during winter and spring migration, and examined the influence of a recent expansion of their staging grounds and change in habitat use on fat and protein storage. We collected 63 geese during the winter of 1989- 1990 at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware, 158 geese in spring 1989 and 1990 at Lake Saint-Pierre and Cap-Saint-Ignace along the St. Lawrence River in southern Quebec, and 17 geese at the end of the 1990 migration on Bylot Island, N.W.T. In both sexes, protein reserves did not change in winter but fat declined from a peak in December to a low point in early March, just before spring migration. Geese collected 3 weeks later at Lake Saint-Pierre (800 km north) had considerably larger fat reserves (90% larger in females and 40% in males). Geese accumulated large fat reserves at both sites along the St. Lawrence River. Although geese staged for a shorter period at Lake Saint-Pierre (a recently used area), males stored as much fat as those staging at Cap-Saint-Ignace and females only slightly less. A small amount of protein was stored between late winter and the end of staging. Spring conditioning of geese along the St. Lawrence River seems to have improved over the past decade. We found weak evidence that larger females stored more fat. The cost of migrating from the St. Lawrence to Arctic nesting grounds (2900 km) is considerable, as half of the fat reserves accumulated in spring were used for the migration. There is no evidence of fat or protein storage between the St. Lawrence estuary and the Arctic nesting grounds.

Type de document: Article scientifique
Statut du texte intégral: Autre
Mots-clés libres: Greater snow geese, Winter and spring migration, St. Lawrence River
Sujets: 4. Faune > 4.4. Oiseaux
Date de dépôt: 20 mai 2016 18:18
Dernière modification: 20 mai 2016 18:18

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