Wintering geese studies

Project studies on wintering geese and their behavior are practically oriented and aim to target conservation measures effectively.







Exploring linkages between roosts and feeding areas and interchange between roosts

Aim: To obtain comprehensive and systematic data on how geese use the landscape of the project area, in order to improve the management of Red-breasted Goose populations through integration with spatial planning, agriculture and tourism.

Expected results

  • Locations and movement of Red-breasted geese mapped by remote tracking;
  • Feeding distribution of Red-breasted geese systematically mapped by ground observation;
  • Flight lines and flight heights of Red-breasted Geese between project sites and out of the project area mapped over two winters by remote-tracking;
  • Database installed creation and management by BSPB and WWT, with key staff trained in its use.


The study involves

  • roost counts of wintering Red-breasted Geese;
  • transect study of RBG foraging grounds;
  • cannon-netting and remote-tracking of Red-breasted Geese in the area of Shabla and Durankulak Lakes.


Develop and recommend solutions to minimize the conflict between Red-breasted Goose and agriculture

Aim: Develop recommendations for reduce conflict between farmers and wintering geese, based on improved knowledge and understanding of the interaction between winter crops productivity and grazing by geese in Coastal Dobrudzha.

Expected result
Clear understanding of the Iinteraction between Red-breasted Geese and agriculture and a suite of jointly proposed solutions by conservation groups and farmers.

Actions involved

  • Literature review of the interactions between crops and Red-breasted Geese
  • Field studies to determine suitability of, and damage to, crops for which there is a scarcity of data
  • Expert consultation to determine potential change in crop regimes in the region
  • In partnership with farmers’ groups, development of recommendations for appropriate crop regimes and spatial planning that will provide resources for Red-breasted Geese, and minimise conflict with agricultural proposes


Create a map of key areas for Red-breasted Geese to guide development intentions and national and regional decision making

Aim: To create a map of key areas for the Red-breasted Goose in Bulgaria, to inform decision-making on strategic spatial planning and individual investment project proposals. The map will incorporate roost sites and foraging areas, and the ecological corridors between them. The maps will be made accessible to decision makers and local communities.

Expected results

  • Government officials (including local authorities) and representatives of business, science, consultancy, NGOs and other stakeholders are trained to use the sensitivity map.
  • The requirements for Red-breasted Goose conservation are mainstreamed incorporated into spatial planning and investment processes.
  • The spatial and regional development planning process, its conformity with conservation requirements, and openness to public scrutiny and involvement, is strengthened.


Create a sensitivity map of Dobrudzha to provide locational guidance for onshore wind farms

Aim: To produce a map of both roosting and feeding areas for Red-breasted Geese and other key species wintering in the area, as well as flyway corridors between these areas. The map will provide information on where where wind farm developments are most likely to cause an impact on withwith the wintering population of Red-breasted Geese.

Expected results

  • GIS wind farm sensitivity map for the Red-breasted Goose published and disseminated to planners, investors and decision-makers
  • Governmental officials (including local authorities) and representatives of business, science, consultancy, NGOs and other stakeholders are trained to use the key areas map and sensitivity map
  • Incorporating the requirements for Red-breasted Goose conservation into renewable energy planning
  • The spatial and regional development planning processes for renewable energy and individual wind energy projects, will take into account birds requirements, and be open to public scrutiny and involvement, is strengthened and resulting in informed and well-grounded decision making.