Greylag Geese

Monitoring and conservation of Prespa's genetically unique greylag goose population

The uniqueness of this population in Greece prompted the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP) to put together a research project in order to gain a greater scientific understanding of the ecology of Prespa’s greylag geese and formulate measures for their protection and conservation. The project has been implemented since 2012, with the Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology “SOVON” and goose expert Berend Voslamber playing a decisive role in the research. The project was based on data from birds that were ringed, collared and equipped with transceivers. The use of cannon nets to capture the birds for this purpose was a method that was applied on a large scale in Greece for the first time in this project.

A total of 99 individuals were tagged, while transmitters were attached to another 9 individuals. At the same time, a genetic investigation of the population, conducted by the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, revealed that the greylag geese of Prespa have unique genetic characteristics, which reinforces the need for protection and management measures. In this context and recognising the critical role that nutrition plays in the survival of juveniles in particular, the SPP collaborated with the SOVON institute to study the nutrition of Prespa’s greylag geese. At the same time, by renting fields and sowing suitable cereal crops, the SPP has made food of high nutritional value available to the species.



Catsadorakis, G., Voslamber, B. & A. Logotheti. 2012. First Greylag Geese Anser anser rubrirostris ringed in Greece. Goose Bulletin, Issue 15, November 2012, pp. 28-31.