Aktion Zwerggans e.V. Operation Lesser White-Front Operation Fjällgås
Last year the project to save the Lesser White-fronted Goose threatened by extinction had to be preliminarily stopped because of avian flu. Now all lights showed green for a start: the first goslings should hatch in May and the migration guided by microlight aircraft was planned for August, leading from Sweden to the Lower Rhine in Germany. But, interventions from Finland and Norway caused another stop of this innovative species protection project. ... Continue Reading
As official project start a press conference was held at the Federal Agency of Nature Conservation in Bonn on January 16th of 2007. The project was presented and Prof. Dr. Michael Wink, Genetic-Expert of the Heidelberg University gave detailed results of the most recent genetical investigations. Dr. Johan Mooij, Migration-Expert of the Biological Station Wesel reported about new data with respect to traditional migration routes. Prof. Dr. Hartmut Vogtmann, the president of the Federal Agency of Nature Conservation accepted the patronage of the project and Peter Wilde reassured the funding of the Allianz Umweltsiftung.
The project team of Operation Lesser Whitefront has been in the Swedish part of Lapland again during August 2006. The goal was to explore additional Stop-Over-Sites along the Vindelälven river between the planned breeding area and Umea. These sites will serve as resting areas and overnight sites during the planned migration of the LFWG in autumn. They have to be suitable for the geese as well as for the planes. The local administration of the National Park is involved in the project. The project team has also conducted flights in the planned breeding area. The Polaris AM-FIB was used. This plane is extremely capable for flying slowly and therefore serves especially well for flying with geese.
Operation Lesser Whitefront had applied for funds at the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) in order to do genetic testing of Lesser Whitefronted Geese from breeding stocks in Germany, Sweden and Finland. These test with new methods were required by the Swedish permission to start the project. Under the title ' Micro-satellite and sequence analysis for the selection of genetically clean breeding stock for reintroduction of geese' (AZ 24921-33/2) the DBU granted the respective funds. The testing was performed by our partner Prof. Michael Wink from Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg.
As the pilot project could not be started in 2006 due to avian flue the Swedish Ministry for the Environment prolonged the permission for a two-years pilot project until 2008.
After several years of preparation the project to rescue the critically endangered Lesser Whitefronted Goose from extinction finally was ready to start: the first chickens were supposed to hatch in May, in August the migration of the geese guided by microlight planes was planned to lead from Sweden to the Lower Rhine in Germany. Due to the recent outbreaks of avian flu in Europe the project was stopped for the time being. ...Continue Reading
The Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus) is one of the most endangered species in the world. Its population size is estimated at about 30000 birds worldwide at the most. Recently the size of the Fennoscandian sub-population was estimated at less than 50 individuals, which form 10-15 breeding pairs at the most. ... Continue reading
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