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The Journey of the Redbreasts tagged with Romanian transmitters continues

The two male Redbreasts tagged in February this year with ROS/BirdLife Romania transmitters in cooperation with the "Safe Ground for Redbreasts" Life Project team continues successfully. Here what our colleague Emil Todorov (ROS) reports to us:

Decebal and Darko are two adult male Red-breasted Goose equipped with 18 g Argos Solar PTT transmitters, provided by the Romanian Ornithological Society/BirdLife Romania. The geese were caught on February 12, 2014, near Durankulak Lake (Bulgaria) during the “Safe Ground for Redbreasts” Life Project catching expedition in Coastal Dobrudzha (http://bspb-redbreasts.org/?page_id=10). The purpose of our study is to follow the geese during their 6000 km migration route from their wintering areas (Bulgaria and Romania) to the breeding grounds in Arctic Russia. We believe that the satellite data will provide valuable information about their preferred staging during their migration and breeding areas in Arctic Russia.

The spring migration of Decebal

After he was caught at Durankulak on 12 of February 2014, Decebal spent a month in the area until 12 of March when he started his spring migration. He arrived at Crimea Peninsula crossing directly Black Sea. The lakes complex near town of Druzhelyubka was his refueling station where he spent few days. Next stop was Manych-Gudilo Lake, known as one of the most important staging area in Russia for the Red-breasted Goose global population. There Decebal stayed until 31st of March. Small lake near Shatta village was the next short stop, where the goose spent another 10 days before to continue its migration. Heading NE, Decebal made huge leap of 1000 km on 9th of April just for 2 days, arriving in his next staging area – vicinity of Yavlenka village (North Kazakhstan). Here Decebal was performing short daily excursion among the lakes in the area, refueling before to continue. On 15th of May, Decebal made another huge leap of 1,200 km straight forward to the North, approaching Yamal-Nenets autonomous district. This area is probably one of the last Red-breasted Geese stops before reaching the breeding grounds in Yamal, Taimyr and Gydan peninsulas.

The spring migration of Darko

In contrast to Decebal, Darko moved almost immediately to Romania, after his release. The ROS team even managed to detect him in area of abandoned rise fields and pastures near the Danube River. The fields were flooded by the melted snow, which create quiet area with no or low disturbance. The geese were not moving further than 1-2 km per day, grazing mostly at the same place where they roosted. On 12th of March Darko started his spring migration. After a jump of 1,200 km, crossing Black Sea and Sea of Azov just for two days, Darko arrived at Manych-Gudilo Lake Complex. Here he spent one month after which he moved another 1,500 km northeast, reaching small lakes at the border between Russia and Kazakhstan near village of Svetlyy. Our data shows that Darko is still refueling at this place, but we believed that soon he has to leave, heading directly North to the Arctic Circle.

Satellite tagged Redbreast
Emil with a Redbreast caught in Bulgarian Coastal Dobrudzha
The migration route of Decebal