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Activities 2005

Genetic testing of birds in captivity

In order to test the usability of birds in captivity for reintroduction and to avoid hybrids Operation Lesser Whitefronts has already collected samples of the majority of Lesser White-Fronted Geese kept in Germany. The samples are analysed in a renowned laboratory of the university of Heidelberg. The birds kept by our Finnish partner will also be tested by the most recent methods.

Recommendations for a reintroduction program of Lesser White fronted geese: A genetic perspective [464 KB] by Prof. Dr. Michael Wink, University of Heidelberg (Englisch)

 

 

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Preparations for a breeding station in Germany

The preparations for building a breeding station for Lesser White-Fronted Geese in Germany are ongoing. Operation Lesser Whitefronts checked several objects offered but a suitable solution has not been found yet. The search goes on….

 

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Testing of aircrafts

The floatable Polaris-Trike will be tested by our pilots to evaluate its operability for the project as an alternative or completion to the dragonfly. The dragonfly will also be optimised.

 

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Pilot training

As flying with the geese needs a lot of experience and routine with the aircraft itself our pilots will go on with their training also in 2005. Training camps in Kleinkoschen and other places are planed, especially to train water landings and flying slowly.

 

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Participation in international conferences for the protection of the LWFG

Sweden as well as Finland are reorganising their measures to protect the LWFG. Operation Lesser Whitefronts and its partners will take part in the relevant meetings and present posters and lessons, e.g. in Helsinki at the ‘Workshop on the protection of the Lesser White-Fronted Goose’ (31.03.-02.04.) and at Goose 2005, the meeting of the Goose Specialist Group of Wetlands International.

 

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Contribution to national and international action plans

At the moment Sweden is preparing a national action plan for the protection of the LWFG. Our Swedish and Finnish partners followed the invitation to contribute. At the ‘Workshop on the protection of the Lesser White-Fronted Goose’ (31.03.-02.04.) in Helsinki a basis for actualisation of the out-of-date international action plan shall be created. Operation Lesser Whitefronts and its partners will stand for the point that reintroduction will be included as a necessary measure for the conservation of the species.

 

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Life-Application

The Life-Application handed in to the EU in January 2005 was rejected as already foreseen, because the Finnish Ministry of Environment did not support it and it therefore was incomplete. Operation Lesser Whitefronts and its partners have the aim to revise the application and hand it in again in 2005. A united Life project for the protection of the Lesser White-Fronted Goose is still our aim.

 

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Site investigation in Sweden 2005

In preparation of the pilot project 'Operation Lesser Whitefront' members of Aktion Zwerggans and representatives of the Västerbotten administration and the Ornithological Society of Västerbotten met in August/September 2005 in Umea. A main focus was to find a suitable breeding area. Following a proposal from the administration an area with several lakes in the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve was investigated more closely. A lake above tree line, the Suoluo Ajkiejavvrie, was chosen. The area seems ideal for re-introduction of Lesser Whitefronts, as it is far away form human settlements at an elevation of 750 m. The landscape mosaique consists of lakes and islands and the pilots will have enough space for training flights with the geese.

Futhermore, the route to the Ume river delta was checked, an important staging area for arctic geese which will be part of the migration route.

Lycksele Zoo was found as a partner for the project and will ensure the medical control for the geese used in the project.

Another goal was to test another type of microlight plane, the Polaris trike that has a rubber boat under it's wing. A amphibian version allows landing on land and on water and the Polaris seemed to have even better flight characteristics as the Dragonfly used in 2004, especially the easy handling and the slow flight options. 

End of August a meeting at the NEPA (Swedish Ministry for the Environment) discussed genetic issues. As a result the project plan was updated and the application for the pilot project  in 2006 was handed in. 

Results: An ideal breeding area and important stop-over sites as well as new projcet partners could be found. It was decided which type of microlight plane will be used and the application for the pilot projcet was accepted by NEPA. 

 

 

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