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Wild goose chase: Geese flee high and far, and with aftereffects from New Year's fireworks

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  • Andrea Kölzsch, Institute for Wetlands and Waterbird Research e.V. (IWWR), Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, University of Konstanz
  • ,
  • Thomas K. Lameris, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research - NIOZ, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Utrecht University
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  • Gerhard J.D.M. Müskens, Wageningen University & Research
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  • Kees H. T. Schreven, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)
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  • Nelleke H. Buitendijk, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)
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  • Helmut Kruckenberg, Institute for Wetlands and Waterbird Research e.V. (IWWR), Tyskland
  • Sander Moonen, Wageningen University & Research
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  • Thomas Heinicke, International Bean Goose Project, Tyskland
  • Lei Cao, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Jesper Madsen
  • Martin Wikelski, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, University of Konstanz, Tyskland
  • Bart A. Nolet, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), University of Amsterdam

In the present Anthropocene, wild animals are globally affected by human activity. Consumer fireworks during New Year (NY) are widely distributed in W-Europe and cause strong disturbances that are known to incur stress responses in animals. We analyzed GPS tracks of 347 wild migratory geese of four species during eight NYs quantifying the effects of fireworks on individuals. We show that, in parallel with particulate matter increases, during the night of NY geese flew on average 5–16 km further and 40–150 m higher, and more often shifted to new roost sites than on previous nights. This was also true during the 2020–2021 fireworks ban, despite fireworks activity being reduced. Likely to compensate for extra flight costs, most geese moved less and increased their feeding activity in the following days. Our findings indicate negative effects of NY fireworks on wild birds beyond the previously demonstrated immediate response.

TidsskriftConservation Letters
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2023

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.

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